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For the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the Conference Office, 
200 Mulberry-street. 

/. Collord, Printer. 

" Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 
1840, by T. Mason and G. Lane, in the Clerk's Office 
of the District Court of the Southern District of New- 



The Work now presented to the public, 
claims for itself no originality of plan or finish 
of execution. It is but little more than an 
abridgment of the original " Life of Dr. Clarke," 
published at the Book Room. The size of that 
work is such as renders it unfit to be placed in 
our Sunday school libraries, as it would seldom 
be read by the scholars, who are not fond of 
searching a large book for interesting and in- 
structive information. 

In view of these circumstances the author 
of this abridgment has occupied the leisure of 
a few weeks in selecting those portions of Dr. 
Clarke's memoirs which he deemed sufficient 
to give a general outline of his life and charac- 
ter, and such as appeared likely to command the 
interest of the young, for whom the work has 
been mainly prepared. The chronological order 
of the larger biography has been followed as 
far as was practicable, and the writer of these 
sheets has not gone out of his way to avoid the 


phraseology of the original memoir, wherever 
it appeared better than any suggested to his 

The little work is thus given, praying that 
it may be able to present the example of Adam 
Clarke to the young who shall read it in such 
a light as to induce them to imitate him in his 
greatness and goodness. 



Birth of Adam Clarke — Infancy — Early fondness for snow 
—Has the small-pox — Serious impressions — Antipathies — 
Dulness at school — Tries Latin grammar — Difficulties — 
Sudden illumination — His father's school — Courts the 
Muses — Catalogue of his library — Opinion of romances- 
Studies magic — Abandons it — Early religious education — 
Learns to dance — Nearly loses his life by two accidents, 

Page 9 


Religious state of the parish — Adam hears a Methodist 
preacher — Mrs. Clarke also hears him — Is pleased — Adam 
prays for the witness of the Spirit — Attends class — Led into 
a dreadful error — Subsequent pain — Is a candidate for com- 
munion Examined Communes — Wrestles in prayer — 

Finds peace — Convinced that st was regeneration — Applies 

to study Holds family prayer — Labours for the good of 

others — Writes poetry — Lives with a linen draper — Kings- 
wood school — Parents object to his going — Conversion of a 
servant through his instrumentality — Singular affliction of 
mind — Obtains relief, 27 


Goes to a distant part of the eircuit — Encouraged on the 
way — First sermon — Mr. Wesley invites him to England — 
His parents object — He has recourse to prayer — His pa- 
rents consent Starts for England — His passage — Stays 

in Liverpool with the captain of the vessol — Goes to Bris- 
tol — His opinion of Kingswood— Meets with the most dis- 
agreeable treatment there — Sees Mr. Wesley for the first 
time — Is confirmed by Bishop Bagot — Becomes & travelling 
gffe&cher, 41 




Sent to Bradford circuit — Success at Road — Reads on 
horseback — Abandons his classical studies — Why — What 
caused him to resume them— Quits tea and coffee — Consci- 
entiousness — Appointed to Norwich circuit — State of the 

society Invitation to breakfast — Domestic economy 

Privations Appointed to St. Austell's — Samuel Drew — 

Driven from a farmer's house — Accident — Chemistry— Sent 

to Plymouth Dock His studies Goes to the Norman 

Isles — Returns — Marriage — Persecution — Bristol circuit — 

Dublin Mr. Wesley's death Manchester Stranger's 

Friend Society, 58 


Mr. Clarke becomes acquainted with Mr. Hand 

Liverpool — Attacked by ruffians — Moves to London — Com- 
mences his Commentary — His labours — Becomes acquaint- 
ed with Mr. and Mrs. Butter worth — Account of their con- 
version Dangers to which his manuscript notes of Job 

were exposed — Black-letter Bible — Bristol — Death of his 
father — Sturm's Reflections — Difficulty of obtaining books — 
His Bibliographical Dictionary — Account of Polyglott Bi- 
bles — Liverpool — Philological Society — Medical advice — 
Death of his brother-^-Manchester — Death of his youngest 
daughter, 80 


Appointed to London — Presides at the Wesleyan Con- 
ference at Leeds — British and Foreign Bible Society — Visit 
to his first circuit — Receives the degree of A. M. — Confer- 
ence at Liverpool — His plan for the relief of infirm ministers 
^-His " Succession of Sacred Literature" — Receives the 
degree of LL. D., 92 


Connection with Rymer's Fcedera — Reluctance to engage 
in the undertaking — Advice of his brethren — The labour — 
The resolution of the committee — Thoughts at the conclu« 
sion of the business — Librarian of the Surry Institution — 
Letter from Dr. Buchanan — Letter to his daughter — Pros- 
pectus of the London Polyglott — First part of his Com- 
mentary — Letter from the speaker of the House of Commons 
— Miss Mary F. Shepherd, 99 




Visits Ireland — Familiar scenes — Death of his mother — 
Opinions respecting his Commentary — His remarks on the 
temptation of Eve — Facetious verses — Visits Cambridge — 
Elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries — Missionary 
sermon — Letter from the British and Foreign Bible Society 
— Retires to the country — Agricultural pursuits — Attention 
to poor sailors — Letter from R. Perceval, 114 


Visits his native country — Attention to animals — Acci- 
dent in repairing his house — Elected member of the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society — Takes two Budhist high priests 

under his charge — Their appearance and disposition 

Astonished at snow — Their disinterestedness — Dr. Clarke 
makes another " preaching expedition" — Accident at St. 
Austell's — Baptizes the two priests — They return to Ceylon 
— Dr. Clarke visits Ireland again — Family festival — Elected 
a member of the Royal Irish Academy — Visits Epworth — 
Family meeting, 127 


Death of Mrs. Butterworth — Dr. Clarke visits Mr. Ben- 
son's death-bed — Elected president of the Wesleyan Con- 
ference the third time — Elected member of the Geological 
Society of London — Original member of the Royal Asiatic 
Society — Goes to preside at the Irish conference — Removes 
to the metropolis — City life does not agree with him — 
Retires to a country residence — Playfulness of his dispo- 
sition — Visits the duke of Sussex — Letter to his little 
grandson, 143 


Finishes his Commentary — His children present him a 
silver vase on the occasion — Goes to Shetland — Storm on 
the passage — Reception in Shetland — Death of Mr. Butter- 
worth — His character — Meets with a serious accident — 
Letter to his son-in-law, 153 



Preaching excursion — Has an attack of the rheumatism 
—Visits Shetland — Another preaching tour — Vacancy in 
the Shetland mission — Writes the " Traveller's Prayer" — 
Publishes a volume of sermons — Letter to the bishop of 
London — Elected an honorary fellow of the Eclectic So- 
ciety — Resolutions at the beginning of the year — Solicitude 
for the safety of his wife — Visits Ireland again — Lines in 
an album, 163 


His attention to children — Passages from a conversation 
—•Attention directed to Ireland — The Irish schools — Letter 
to Mr. Everett— Gives offence to the Wesleyan missionary 
committee — Their resolution — Dr. Clarke's answer — Visit 
of two gentlemen from the British museum — Starts for Ire- 
land — Turned back by a storm, 178 


Dr. Clarke is desired to become a supernumerary 

Declines — Is so made by the conference — Effect upon him 
— Feelings before entering the pulpit — Attachment to do- 
mestic pleasures — Death of Mr. Baynes — Accident — Death 
of Mr. Scott — Letter to the New- York Methodist Mission- 
ary Society — Delivers anniversary sermons — Goes to Ire- 
land — Confined with the rheumatism — Mr. T. Clarke starts 
to bring him back — Meets with an accident — Dr. Clarke 
starts to return — Taken sick — Cholera spreads — Dr. Clarke 
arrives at home, 192 


Appearance on his return from Ireland — Goes to Liverpool 
to attend conference — Delivers the annual sermon — Resigns 
Shetland to the conference — His roving commission — G^es 
to Frome — Extracts from his speech there — Meets one of his 
earliest hearers — Goes to Weston — Returns home — Great 
calamity in Shetland — Undertakes to write the memoir of 
Rev. T. Roberts — His kindness to a poor widow — Starts for 
Bayswater — Taken with the cholera — His last hours, 208 





Birth of Adam Clarke — Infancy — Early fondness for snow 
—Has the small-pox — Serious impressions — Antipathies — 
Dulness at school — Tries Latin grammar — Difficulties — 
Sudden illumination — His father's school — Courts the 
Muses — Catalogue of his library — Opinion of romances — 
Studies magic — Abandons it — Early religious education — 
Learns to dance — Nearly loses his life by two accidents. 

Adam Clarke, the subject of the following 
memoir, was born in the village of Moybeg, 
township of Cootinaglugg, county of London- 
derry, Ireland. The precise date of his birth 
is not known, but was, most probably, in the 
spring of 1760. He was the second son of 
John Clarke, A. M., a sizer in Trinity College, 
Dublin, whose early marriage to Miss Hannah 
M'Lean blasted his hopes of preferment in the 
Church ; and the desire of emigrating to Ame- 
rica, which was then prevalent in his native 
land, (owing to the intolerable taxation of op- 
pressive landlords,) induced him to dispose of 
his property and make preparations to remove 
to the new world. On the eve of his departure, 
his father arrived in the city, and, by the influ- 
ence of his entreaties, prevailed on Mr. Clarke 
to abandon the project, forfeit his passage 


money, and return to the country. The loss 
occasioned by the breaking up of his establish- 
ment left him in embarrassed circumstances, 
and he was for some time undetermined what 
pursuit in life to adopt. After encountering 
many difficulties, he finally settled in Moybeg, 
the obscure village which was honoured as the 
birth-place of his son Adam. 

His brother, the first child of his parents, 
having been nearly spoiled by the indulgence 
of a fond uncle, to avoid a similar conse- 
quence in the case of Adam, he was almost 
wholly neglected in his infancy, meeting with 
little kind treatment, always corrected when in 
fault, and receiving punishment sometimes when 
he did not deserve it. Left comparatively to 
himself, he became quite hardy, uncommonly 
patient of cold, and remarkably fond of the snow. 
His attachment to it was so great, that he called 
it his brother^ and would often leave his bed in 
the mornings, and, with the slightest covering 
on, would build himself rooms in the snow, and 
sit down in them, almost naked, with the most 
perfect satisfaction. 

At the age of five he was afflicted with the 
small-pox, and the treatment for that disease, at 
that time, was peculiarly aggravating and in- 
tolerable. The patient was bundled up in a 
load of clothes, placed in a warm bed, and 
dosed with spirituous liquors. This mode of 
treating an inflammatory disease was by no 
means adapted to Adam's views ; and accord- 
ingly he secured an opportunity, in the absence 



of his parents, to leap from his bed and run 
naked into the open air. This he repeated as 
often as possible ; and a custom so contrary to 
all medical authority terminated in his restora- 
tion to health, without being scarred with a 
single mark. 

At six years of age he received his first se- 
rious impressions. His father was at that time 
teaching a school at Maghera, and the son of 
one of his neighbours was a favourite with 
Adam, and his almost constant companion. One 
day James Brooks and Adam were walking in 
the field, and began to enter into very serious 
conversation. They became greatly affected, 
and their emotions were deepened by the re- 
mark of little James, "O, Addy, Addy, what a 
dreadful thing is eternity ; and, O, how dreadful 
to be put into hell fire, and to be burned there 
for ever and ever V* They wept bitterly, begged 
God to forgive their sins, and resolved in future 
to lead better lives. 

When Adam returned home he related the 
circumstance to his mother, who encouraged 
him in his good resolutions. The father, how- 
ever, put little faith in the efforts of children to 
be pious ; and his neglect tended, in a great 
degree, to discourage his son. He did not 
altogether lose his serious impressions ; and 
although he then had no one to tell him he could 
be saved only by faith in Christ through the grace 
£iven of God, he retained and cherished those 
feelings which, doubtless, contributed in a great 
degree to the formation of his religious character. 



Dr. Clarke, in his childhood, entertained an ) 
unconquerable antipathy to very corpulent per- 1 
sons, and relates the effect produced upon him : 
by the prediction of a dumb spae-man, or 
fortune-teller, who once visited his father's 
house. Adam was presented to the wizard, in 
order to ascertain the fate of his after life, and 
the " man of mysteries," after beholding him 
intently for some time, signified by his actions 
that the lad was destined to be very fond of the 
bottle and grow very fat ! Of all other things, I 
these two he most dreaded ; and, to avert the 
evil, he had immediate recourse to prayer : for, 
although he thought the wizard might be correct 
in his calculation, he believed that the inter- 
ference of God's omnipotence could prevent 
this dire calamity. He kneeled down in the 
bushes, and earnestly uttered the following pe- 
tition : — " 0. Lord God, have mercy upon me, 
and never suffer me to be like Pearce Quinlin !" 
(one of his father's neighbours, whose untiring 
kindness could not destroy the antipathy Adam 
entertained to his large stomach.) The effect 
of this prayer was to sooth his mind in some 
degree ; and, perhaps, had it not been for the 
prediction of the spae-man, he would not have 
been so careful in after days to observe that 
regularity of habit which, doubtless, prolonged 
his very valuable life. 

The dulness of Adam in his school-boy days 
was very remarkable ; and the poor encourage- 
ment he found in endeavouring to acquire a 
knowledge of the alphabet, produced almost a 


despair of his ever making any progress in 
knowledge. When a neighbouring school- 
master visited the school, he was invited by 
the teacher to hear his boys recite their lessons ; 
and the poor manner in which Adam went 
through his recitation, caused the teacher to 
make an apology for him, with the compli- 
mentary remark, that he was a grievous dunce. 
The visiter laid his hand on young Clarke's 
head, and replied to the teacher, " Never fear, 
sir, this lad will make a good scholar yet." 
These few words inspired him with some hope ; 
and the literary career of Dr. Clarke's subse- 
quent life fully verified the correctness of the 

As soon as Adam was able to read in the 
New Testament with some ease, his father, 
wishing to make him a scholar if possible, put 
him into Lilly's Latin grammar. At that stage 
of his progress this was a difficult task ; and 
one of the first sentences presented an obstacle 
which he was long in overcoming. He com- 
prehended not the meaning of the sentence — 
" In speech be these eight parts following : 
noun, pronoun, verb, participle, declined; ad- 
verb, conjunction, preposition, interjection, un- 
declined." And although he committed it to 
memory, and repeated it correctly, he knew 
nothing of its signification. 

The declensions of nouns he mastered with 
pain, and soon became familiar with the con- 
jugation of verbs. One portion of this gram- 
mar, known as the As in prasenti, was not so 



easily managed, and with a neighbouring diffi- 
culty he halted. It appeared to him u useless 
and incomprehensible jargon ;" and, in distress 
and with tears he abandoned it, and with it all 
hopes of future progress. "He took up an 
English Testament, sneaked into an English 
class, and rose with it to say a lesson. The 
master, perceiving it, said, in a terrific tone, 
4 Sir, what brought you here ? where is your 
Latin grammar V He burst into tears, and ex- 
claimed, with a piteous tone, ' I cannot learn 
it V He had now reason to expect all the 
severity of the rod : but the master, getting a 
little moderate, perhaps moved by his tears, 
contented himself with saying, ' Go, sirrah, 
and take up your grammar : if you do not 
speedily get that lesson, I shall pull your ears 
as long as Jowler's, (a great dog belonging to 
the premises,) and you shall be a beggar to the 
day of your death.' " He went to his seat with 
feelings of indescribable poignancy, which 
were increased by the taunts of one of iis 
more successful school-mates. " What! have 
you not learned that lesson yet 1 O what a 
stupid ass ! You and I began together : you 
are now only in As in pressed, and I am m 
syntax !" This was not to be borne. Young 
Clarke felt " as if something had broken within 
him" — and the effect was a sudden illumina- 
tion of his mind. He resolved not to be the 
butt of the insults of his fellows, not to be the 
jackass of the school, and " a beggar to the 
day of his death." He seized the book, com- 



mitted the lesson in a few minutes, and recited 
it without missing a single word. He forthwith 
proceeded to prepare others, and finally wearied 
his master by the frequency of his recitations. 
He soon mastered the most difficult parts of 
Lilly's grammar, and was thenceforth the pro- 
digy of the school. Thus, as it were almost in 
a moment, he stepped from darkness to light, 
and his sorrow was turned into instant joy. In 
the words of his autobiography, " the re- 
proaches of his school-fellow were the spark 
which fell on the gunpowder and inflamed it 
instantly. The inflammable matter was there 
before, but the spark was wanting." 

Although Mr. Clarke's means were quite 
limited, he endeavoured to afford his sons the 
best education he could possibly give them. 
He lived on a small farm, and at the same time 
taught school. The price at which he taught 
the various branches has been preserved as a 
literary curiosity : — Reading, 1 l-2d. per week ; 
Writing, 2d. ; Writing and Accompts, 4d. ; and 
Greek and Latin, 7s. per quarter. These were 
the highest terms in that country in the latter 
end of the eighteenth century. 

Mr. Clarke commenced his school, both in 
summer and winter, at eight o'clock in the 
morning, and continued until eight in the even- 
ing in summer, and four in winter. From May 
till September he allowed one hour for dinner ; 
during the remainder of the year, he continued 
his school without intermission ; and all the 
vacation he allowed in the year amounted to 



but three weeks. He paid attention to his farm 
before and after school hours, and during the 
rest of the time it was left to the care of his 
two sons. They went to school day about, 
and the scholar of one day was the farmer 
of the next. He who had the advantage of the 
day's instruction, imparted, on his return from 
school, as much of it as he could to him who 
was detained about the affairs of the farm. 

The situation of the school was such as to 
give a fine prospect of hill, and dale, and wood- 
land ; and with the beautiful landscape before 
him, Adam Clarke studied Virgil's Eclogues 
and Georgics, receiving from the scenery 
around him better comments on the beauties 
of the Mantuan bard than all the lucid anno- 
tations of editors and critics. In this place, 
when about eight or nine years old, he com- 
posed a satire on one of his school-mates, 
whose misdemeanors had brought him under 
the chastisement of Adam's severity. The 
original poem, which consisted of one hundred 
and seventy-five lines, was composed in one 
Saturday afternoon, after the school broke up, 
and was written down by his brother, as Adam 
could not yet write small hand with sufficient 
legibility for such a task. We will give as 
much of it as has been preserved. 




Or Verses on William W — k — w, of Portglenone, in the 
bounty of Antrim, describing the base extraction, 
high insignificance \ and family connections of the 
mid William W — k — n, alias Pigmy Will, 

The Isle Egina, as it 's said, 

Was once depeopled by a plague ; 

Nor male nor female then was spared 

Save Eacus, who was its laird. 

Great Jove to Eacus gave birth, 

As good a wight as lived on earth ; 

And skilPd in magic, as it 's said, 

He found out means to stop the plague. 

The ants they saw, to their surprise, 

The nation fall before their eyes ; 

And earnestly desired then 

That he would change them into men. 

This was no sooner said than done, 

For straight to conjuring he begun ; 

Then feet and legs might there be seen, 

And bodies moving on the green ; 

With thighs, arms, shoulders, neck, and head, 

Like ghosts arising from the dead. 

(Much wanting.) 

When ail this tiny race was framed, 
There was one of them that was named 
JYinnetis, he of stature small, 
The merest dwarf among them all ; 
The little Naethius, Pluto's client, 
Compared to him was like a giant ; — 
Nor all the race of Fairies dire, 
Nor Salamanders bred in fire, 
Nor Oberon, the fairy king, 
Nor all the race of dwarfs living, 
Nor one on earth compared him 'till, 
Except the moth called Pigmy Will. (1) 

But certes here, you '11 think anon, 
This is a rare comparison ; 
That such a lad as Ninneus was, 
Should likened be to Will the dwarf. 

(1) Pigmy Will, the school nickname of this young man, 



But now, my muse, forto be brief, 
On Willy's acts turn o'er a leaf. 
The Pigmy people did deelare 
With race of Cranes a dreadful war ; 
And urged them with their winged mighS 
To meet them on the field to fight. 

The Cranes, not daunted at this news. 
Ne'er doubting that they 'd soon confuse 
This reptile face, void dread or fear, 
Unto the battle they drew near. 

Our Pigmy, with his little page, (2) 
A fearful crane did soon engage : 
She tore their face with beak and nah% 
And dealt her blows as thick as hail. 
In minutes three the page was kill'd; 
And Will, being well irTrmtning skill'd, 
Took to his heels t' avoid disgrace, 
And shun the rage of cranish race. 
But fortune's smiles, that wait on th' brave, 
Beam'd not, our hero fleet to save ; 
For soon, alas ! he fell flat down. 
The crane, observing him in swoon, 
Clutch'd and lift high up in the air, 
Having fast hold of poor Will's hair. 

At this unhappy change of place, 
"Will made a haggard, rueful face ; 
And earnestly desired to be 
Rid of his potent enemy. 
The crane just sped, now high, now low, 
With her poor caitiff screaming foe ; 
Till coming o'er Portnegro town, (3) 
She loosed her fangs, and let him down : 
And he, poor wight, like old king Log, 
Came plumb directly to a bog. 

{Some wanting-) 

When from Portnegro he came home, 
His friends embraced him one by one ; 
But father said, " Til thrash your back, sir, (4) 
Gin ye dinna mend your manners straight, sir !" 

(2) Little page, — this poor little serving lad, a sort of play- 
mate of William's when he was at his father's house. 

(3) Portnegro, — the town of Portglenone, on the river Ban, 
near to which this family dwelt. 

(4) I 1 11 thrash your back, — a very common expression of 
William's father. 



Adam was extremely fond of reading, and 
entertained a great partiality for history. The 
classical allusions of the preceding poem ex- 
hibit a familiarity with a knowledge of antiquity 
truly astonishing in so young a boy. The 
manner in which he and his brother procured 
their books, was by saving the pennies given 
them for being good boys ; and when the joint 
stock amounted to a sufficiency to purchase the 
desired volume, to add it to their library. This 
example deserves the imitation of all children 
who prefer knowledge to sweetmeats, and the 
improvement of the mind to satisfying the appe- 
tites of the body. We will give a catalogue 
of their library, more, indeed, as a curiosity 
than a model : — 

The Reading Made Easy, and Dilworth's 
Spelling-Book. The famous and delightful His- 
tory of Tom Thumb. Ditto of Jack the Giant 
Killer. Ditto of Jack Horner. Ditto of Rose- 
wall and Lilly Ann. Ditto of Guy, Earl of 
Warwick. Ditto of the Seven Wise Masters 
and Mistresses. Ditto of the Nine Worthies 
of the World. Ditto of Thomas Hickathrift. 
Ditto of Captain James Hind. Ditto of the 
Babes in the Wood. Ditto of the Seven Cham- 
pions of Christendom. Ditto of Sir Francis 
Drake. Ditto of the New World, i. e., America. 
Ditto of Captain Falkner. Ditto of Montelion, 
or the Knight of the Oracle. Ditto of Robinson 
Crusoe. Ditto of Valentine and Orson. Ditto 
of Parismus and Parismenos. The Tale of the 
Three Bonnets. The Fairy Tales. Peruvian 



Tales. Tartarian Tales. Arabian Nights En- 
tertainments. The Destruction of Troy. Robin 
Hood's Garland. The History of Adam Bell, 
Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudesly. 
The Life of Sir William Wallace. A Groat's 
Worth of Wit for a Penny. Chevy Chase. The 
Cherry and the Sloe. The Gentle Shepherd. 
The Pilgrim's Progress. iEsop's Fables, by 
L'E strange. The Holy War. — With many 
others of the same kind. 

Dr. Clarke attributes the strengthening of his 
belief in the existence of a God, a spiritual 
world, and the direct interposition of special 
providences, to the perusal of those little ro- 
mances which related the adventures of heroes, 
and the acts of fairies and genii. He was 
naturally timid, but believed that the reading 
of these works tended to render him courageous. 
Speaking of this subject, he remarked to his 
friends, " I believe I should have been an arrant 
coward* had I never read romances ; such was 
the natural timidity, or, if you please, imbecility 
of my mind." He fully attested his courage in 
after life by braving the mobs that assailed him 
while endeavouring to proclaim salvation to a 
lost and sinful race. 

In the course of his reading, as it lay prin- 
cipally in the department of romance, he 

* Had Adam Clarke been as well versed in gospel history 
as he was in romance literature, he would have found a 
sufficient number of incidents of divine interposition to 
give him an unwavering trust in the providence of God, 
and thereby furnish him with all the moral courage which a 
Christian needs. 



acquired some information of magicians and 
their wonder-working power. He knew some- 
thing, too, of the Occult Philosophy of Corne- 
lius Agrippa, and of the wonderful book which 
" was obliged to be chained to a large block, 
else it would fly, or be carried away." His 
curiosity became greatly excited ; and having 
heard that a copy of the work was in the pos- 
session of a schoolmaster, a few miles from his 
father's residence, he had a letter written, and, 
although but eight years old, prepared to make 
the journey. In reply to his mother's expostu- 
lations, on account of his ignorance of the road, 
and his want of strength to complete the under- 
taking, he answered, "Never fear, mother; if 
I can get there, and get the book, I hope to get 
as much out of it as will bring me home without 
touching the ground." He had resolved to ride 
back on an angel. How great must have been 
his vexation and disappointment to find that the 
man would not lend the book ! 

This, however, only served to increase his 
curiosity ; and an occurrence shortly after gave 
him the satisfaction of at least seeing the book. 
A family of travelling tinkers came to that part 
of the country, and a report soon circulated 
that they were conjurers. Adam was not long 
in tendering them neighbourly attention ; and 
on his first visit, made known the desire of his 
heart to obtain a sight of certain magical books 
reported to be in their possession. The man 
of the house was pleased with the enthusiasm 
of the lad, and amused him with many thrilling 



stories of the supernatural effects of spells, 
figures, diagrams, letters, fumigations, &c, &c. 
But, to cap the climax of Adam's rapture, he 
handed him, on his second visit, the three books 
of Cornelius Agrippa on Occult Science ! With 
much fear was it touched, with much trembling 
was it read. Liberty was granted to take notes, 
and when the family removed from the place, 
which occurred shortly after, he supposed that 
he had culled the sweets of the volume, and 
rejoiced in the acquisition of his knowledge. 
He again felt chagrined when the tinker in- 
formed him that there was a fourth volume of 
the work, containing the practice of the art, 
without which the others were useless. The 
only solace was, to wait in patience until he 
could secure the remaining volume. 

He was persuaded of the propriety of all 
magical operations, because the name of God 
was so often and so reverently used in the 

This view of the subject tended greatly to 
impose on his mind ; but he happened about this 
time to read an answer, in a book entitled The 
Athenian Oracle, to the question, — e< Is that ma- 
gic lawful whose operations are perfoimed in 
the name of God, and by solemn invocations 
of his power," &c, &c. % The answer was, 
No : — for concerning such things, our Lord has 
said : " Many will say to me in that day, Lord, 
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name ? 
and in thy name have cast out devils ? and in 
thy name done many wonderful works ? And 



then will I profess unto them, I never knew 
you : depart from me, ye that work iniquity," 
Matt, vii, 22, 23. This answer, and the re- 
marks made in connection with it, convinced 
Adam that it was a profanation of the name of 
God to use it in magical incantations, and 
made a termination of his studies in this de- 

Doubtless the only good resulting from these 
studies was, the awe which their reputation, as 
conjurers, acquired by the young Clarkes, ex- 
erted over the minds of their neighbours ; for 
no intruder dared to trespass on the premises 
from night-fall until daylight, lest some dire 
calamity should befall him. 

We come now to speak of Adam's religious 
education. His mother was a Presbyterian 
u of the strictest sect," a Puritan. She had so 
inspired her children with a reverence for the 
word of God, that a reproof drawn from the 
Bible was, to their minds, truly terrifying. An 
instance, illustrative of this, was preserved 
in the memory of her son to the latest hour of 
his life. He accompanied some act of disobe- 
dience with a look that seemed to express a 
contempt for her authority. She immediately 
had recourse to the Scripture, turned to Prov. 
xxx, 17, and commented with great solemnity 
on the passage, — " The eye that mocketh at 
his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, 
the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and 
the young eagles shall eat it." He was smitten 
in his conscience, went out into the fiold medi- 



tating on this " horrible denunciation," and the 
first sound that arrested his attention was the 
hoarse croak of a raven ! He looked up, and 
seeing this bird, supposed that it was the one 
mentioned in the text, and, under the influence 
of an instinctive impulse, covered his eyes with 
his hands and ran to the house in a state of 
excitement and alarm. 

Together with a reverence for the Scriptures, 
the children were taught to pray. They were 
all made to kneel and repeat the Lortfs Prayer 
before retiring to bed at night,, and those who 
were over six years of age added the Apostles' 
Creed. The morning and evening prayers, were 
in verse ; and although they are very familiar, 
they deserve to be recorded in this place. 
" I go to my bed as to my grave, 

And pray to God my life to save. 

But if I die before I wake, 

I pray to God my soul to take. 

Sweet Jesus, now to thee I cry, 

To grant me mercy before I die ! 

To grant me mercy, and send me grace. 

That heaven may be my dwelling place !" 

M Preserve me, Lord, amidst the crowd, 
From every thought that 's vain and proud ; 
And raise my wandering mind to see 
How good it is to trust in thee ! 
From all the enemies of thy truth, 
Do thou, O Lord, preserve my youth ; 
And raise my mincl from worldly cares, 
From youthful sins and youthful snares. 
Lord, though my heart 's as hard as stone, 
Let seeds of early grace be sown ; 
Still water'd by thy heavenly love, 
Till they spring up to joys above t" 



These were concluded with the following 
short doxology : 

" Give to the Father praise, 
And glory to the Son ; 
And to the Spirit of his grace 
Be equal honour done !" 

About his twelfth or thirteenth year, Adam 
learned to dance. With this worse than use- 
less accomplishment, he acquired its concomi- 
tant evils, levity, idleness, and pride. His soul's 
utmost desires seemed to be centred in dress, 
in foolish conversation, and unprofitable compa- 
ny. Young Clarke's experience in this matter 
convinced him that the influence of dancing 
was decidedly deleterious : and in after life, as 
a minister of the gospel, he deemed it his 
bounden duty to exert his influence in the sup- 
pression of this pernicious branch of education. 

As he grew older, it became necessary to 
think of some business of life in which to be 
engaged. It was first proposed to prepare him 
for the ministry, but the straitened circum- 
stances of the family did not allow them the 
privilege of maintaining him at the university. 
It was then proposed to put him an apprentice 
to a surgeon ; but this plan failed, and as he 
was the " only remaining son" at home, he 
was retained to assist his father in attending to 
the school. 

Two accidents about this time came near 
to putting a period to Adam's life. One day, 
as he was returning from the mill, he placed 
the bag of grain on the horse's back, and sat 



on the top, in order to prevent it from falling. 
One side, however, being heavier than the 
other caused him to lose his balance and fall 
from his seat, and threw him with his back i 
on a pointed stone. In this situation he was 
taken up as dead ; an ineffectual attempt was 
made to draw blood, and after lying in an in- 
sensible state for twenty-four hours, he awoke 
to a sense of the acutest pain. Every one de- 
spaired of his life being prolonged, and pre- 
pared to remove him to his father's. He refused 
to get into the chair, but, holding on to it, he 
walked to his father's residence, and to the as- 
tonishment of all he soon recovered his usual 

On another occasion he rode his father's 
mare into the sea, as was his daily custom. 
The surface being remarkably calm, and the , 
bottom very smooth, he ventured beyond the 
breakers. Just then a swell of the sea coming 
in, he was washed from the horse, and after 
experiencing a singular sensation, his mind 
settled into a calm, tranquil state. There was 
no one there to help him, and he lay in that 
situation for some time. The waves, how- 
ever, had cast him into a shallow place, and 
breathing the fresh air, he soon returned to his 
natural feelings. When he came to, he saw 
the mare quietly grazing along the shore, about 
half a mile from the place where he lay ex- 

Thus in two instances did God signally de- 
liver him from the jaws of death. 




Religious state of the parish — Adam hears a Methodist 
jireacher — Mrs. Clarke also hears him — Is pleased — Adam 
prays for the witness of the Spirit — Attends class — Led into 
a dreadful error — Subsequent pain — Is a candidate for com- 
munion Examined — Communes — Wrestles in prayer — 

Finds peace — Convinced that it was regeneration — Applies 
to study — Holds family prayer — Labours for the good of 
others— Writes poetry — Lives with a linen draper — Kings- 
wood school — Parents object to his going — Conversion of a 
servant through his instrumentality — Singular affliction of 
mind — Obtains relief. 

We have seen thus far that Adam had ac- 
quired some general knowledge of religious 
subjects, that he had the fear of God before 
his eyes, and that he observed a marked reve- 
rence for the Bible. He sat under the ministry 
of the Rev. W. Smith, rector of the parish of 
Agherton, who, although a man of talents and 
integrity, seldom dwelt on the doctrine of justi- 
fication by faith, and then not in an explicit 
manner. Besides the instruction he received at 
the Church, he attended the Presbyterian meet- 
ing with his mother, where the congregation 
and pastor were tainted with the heresy of So- 
cinianism. Between the Church and the Pres- 
byterians the parish was divided ; and as to 
spiritual matters had fallen asleep. Mrs. Clarke 
herself partook of the general coldness, and 
grew lax in her observance of family duties. 
A change for the better, however, soon took 

In the year 1777, the Methodist preachers 
of Coleraine visited Agherton. The only no- 



rice Adam Clarke had had of these people was 
contained in the following newspaper para- 
graph : — " A Methodist preacher, ministering 
in the open air to a large congregation, a heavy- 
shower of rain falling, the people began to dis- 
perse to seek shelter in their houses, which 
the preacher observing, told them that ' rain was 
one of the chief blessings of God's providence, 
that without it there could be neither seed 
time nor harvest, nor indeed any green thing 
on the face of the earth : and will you,' said 
he, ' fly from the gift of God V The people 
felt the reproof, gathered more closely together, 
and though the rain continued to descend, 
heard patiently and piously to the end of the 

One evening a young gentleman requested 
Adam to go to a neighbouring village, " to have 
some fun," as a Methodist preacher was to be 
there. This was rather a strange idea to young 
Clarke's mind, as he had ever been accustomed 
to look upon divine worship as too solemn a 
thing to be connected with amusement. The 
preacher who attended was John Brettel, for 
many years a member of the connection in 
Great Britain. In his discourse he was led to 
notice and oppose the declaration contained in 
the Westminster Catechism, that "no mere 
man, since the fall, can keep God's command- 
ments : but doth daily break them in thought, 
in word, and in deed." He proceeded to show 
that the Scripture promises salvation from all 
sin, and his reasoning brought Adam to the 


conclusion, " If the Scriptures say contrary to 
the catechism, certainly I should believe the 
Scriptures in preference to the catechism." 

He followed the preacher to the house, and 
listened attentively to his conversation on re- 
pentance, faith, holiness, &c, and the next week 
followed him to another part of the neighbour- 
hood. Mr. Brettel was succeeded on the circuit 
by Mr. Thomas Barber, who enforced the doc- 
trines taught by his predecessor. Mrs. Clarke 
heard him preach, and pronounced him genu- 
inely orthodox. The effect of this kind of 
preaching upon Adam's mind was, to lead him 
to self-examination, to prayer, and to giving up 
his former practices. He attended meetings 
frequently in the week, and attended to all his 
private religious duties. This course, so far 
from making him slothful, only increased his 
diligence ; and the effect of proper religious 
impressions upon the mind is to render one 
fervent in spirit, and diligent in business. It 
makes the child more obedient to his parents, 
the scholar more devoted to his books, and the 
tradesman more attentive to his business. 

We have remarked that he took delight in 
prayer. To this profitable duty he was incited 
by a short conversation with Mr. Barber. It 
was to this effect : " Adam, do you think that 
God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you your 
sins?" "No, sir, I have no evidence of this." 
"Adam, do you pray?" "Yes, sir." "How 
often do you pray in private ?" " Every morn- 
ing and evening." " Adam, did you ever hear 



of any person finding peace with God, who only 
prayed in private twice a day ?" He now saw 
that he had been too remiss, and resolved to be 
more devotional. 

He became deeply interested in the question 
of " the witness of the Spirit," and he began to 
search the Scriptures to find if it were even so. 
He spent all his leisure time in perusing the 
word of God, and read the New Testament 
from beginning to end, in order to gain inform- 
ation on this momentous subject. 

About this time Mrs. Clarke attended a Me- 
thodist class meeting, and was much pleased 
with the exercises. The next Lord's day she 
took Adam with her. He listened with deep 
attention to the " experience" of the members, 
and marvelled much at the wonderful change 
which had been wrought in their feelings. He 
began to feel uneasy, and concluded that he 
had acted improperly in coming into a meeting 
which he thought should be attended only by 
those who were members of the society. In 
reply to the questions of the leader he made a 
general answer, and left the meeting extremely 
unhappy. As he was returning home, the leader 
entered into religious conversation with him, 
exhorting him to give his whole heart to God, 
and added, " You may be a burning and shining 
light in a benighted land." These words 
sunk into his heart. His convictions became 
deepened; he looked upon himself as a wretch- 
ed, helpless sinner, and for some time laboured 
under a sense of God's disapprobation. 


Mr. Barber had lately formed a class of such 
as desired to flee from the wrath to come, and 
enrolled Adam's name with the rest. He was 
somewhat displeased with that, but concluded 
that, " since they had put his name down, he 
would, by the help of God, meet with them." 
This he did for several weeks, until he allowed 
himself to be detained by trifles, and felt no 
disposition to go. 

At this juncture, a circumstance occurred 
which tended to shake one strong article of his 
creed. He believed "that the sufferings and 
death of Christ were held out, through the whole 
of the New Testament, as sacrificial and ex- 
piatory, and that his death was a sufficient 
ransom, sacrifice, and atonement for the sins 
of the whole world." On this alone, without 
any saving faith in the blood of Christ, he based 
his hope of salvation. 

He was one evening on a visit to a family 
with whom he was on terms of the strictest 
intimacy. The conversation turned on the 
doctrine of the atonement, and one of the per- 
sons present remarked, " that the Methodists 
were guilty of idolatry, for they gave that 
worship to Jesus Christ that belonged to the 
Father only." This filled him with doubts : 
" What have I been doing ? have I been adding 
idolatry to all the rest of my transgressions ? 
Have I had two Gods instead of one ?" He 
went out among the cattle, kneeled down, and 
asked God to forgive him for having transferred 
hi : glory to another. He even left the name 



of Christ out of his prayers. A coldness took 
possession of him, his fervour left him, and he 
became formal in all that he did. He perceived 
the change, and had immediate recourse to 
prayer. He wrestled with God to show him 
the truth and preserve him from error, and 
concluded his prayer thus : " God, hear and 
have mercy upon me, — for the sake of Jesus 
Christ !" He started ! the name of Christ had 
been uttered again. In a moment he felt that 
this was the only name given under heaven 
whereby he could be saved. He resolved by 
it boldly to approach the throne of grace. He 
was delivered from the depths into which the 
enemy of his soul had endeavoured to bring 
him ; and free from the dangers of Socinian 
error, he was made to feel that Christ had died 
for all, and that, through him, we have access 
to the throne of the heavenly grace. 

He had not, as yet, the witness of the Spirit, 
of which he heard others speak, but he felt a 
longing after the whole image of God. In this 
state of mind, he felt " a mournful rejoicing," 
and expressed his ardent desire to enjoy a full 
sense of his pardon. 

He thought it proper to receive, for the first 
time, the sacrament of the Lord's supper. He 
was encouraged bv Mr. Barber, and made 
known his wishes to the rector, Mr. bmith. . 
He was received with great alfection, and re- 
ferred, for examination and advice, to the Rev. 
Mr. Younge, of Coleraine. Mr. Younge exhibited 
toward him all Christian kindness ; and, after 


much wholesome counsel, wrote a note to Mr. 
S., expressive of his satisfaction, and recom- 
mending young Clarke as a suitable candidate 
for communion. During the week, Adam spent 
much time in preparation, looking upon the act 
in which he was about to engage as one of the 
most solemn and momentous character, and 
greatly fearing lest he should partake of the 
solemn symbols of the body and blood of the 
blessed Redeemer to his own condemnation. 
Well would it be for all communicants, if they 
as seriously considered the importance of this 
sacred ordinance. 

On Easter Sunday he repaired to the church, 
and after sermon, went with his father to the 
communion table. When the rector adminis- 
tered the bread to Adam, and said, " The body 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for 
thee," the pious pastor was quite overcome by 
his feelings. He paused for some moments 
before he dared to proceed ; affording by his 
conduct an indubitable evidence of the love he 
entertained for the young of his flock. 

Adam, however, did not yet feel a sense of 
his pardon. He was one morning in the fields, 
endeavouring to work, when the distress of his 
mind became so great that he was not able to 
proceed. He tried to pray, but the heavens 
seemed as brass to him. He arose and attempt- 
ed again to work, but his agony became into- 
lerable, and falling on his knees, he repeated 
his effort to pray. There appeared no rest to 
his heart, as long as he lacked the testimony 




of God's pardoning love. He wrestled until 
his strength was exhausted, and he fell on the 
ground, unable to speak or pray. In his ex- 
tremity the thought came into his mind, " Pray 
to Christ" and the word seemed to be spoken 
to him, " Come to the Holiest through the blood 
of Jesus." The eye of his faith then caught 
the view of his Saviour. He was able to trust 
in him as his Redeemer. The burden was re- 
moved from his heart, he was loosed from the 
bond of iniquity, and let into the liberty of 
God's dear children. His physical strength 
returned, his mind was illuminated, and his 
heart was all on fire with the love of God. 

Adam still seemed unconscious of the fact, 
that the change which he felt was a sound 
conversion. Shortly after, he was passing the 
field where it happened, in company with Mr. 
Barber, and related to him the agonies he had 
endured, and the freedom which he had expe- 
rienced. ' ; The man of God took off his hat, 
and with tears flowing down his cheeks, gave 
thanks to God. c O Adam,' said he, 'I rejoice 
in this ; I have been daily in expectation that 
God would shine upon your soul, and bless vou 
with the adoption of his children.' Adam 
stared at him, and said within himself, ' O, he 
thinks surely that I am justified, that God has 
forgiven me my sins, that I am now his child. 
O, blessed be God, I believe, I feel I am justi- 
fied, through the redemption that is in Jesus.' 
Now he clearly saw what God had done ; and 
although he had felt the blessing before, and 



was happy in the possession of it, it was only 
now that he could call it by its name." 

Adam found that grace illumined his mind, 
and greatly assisted him in his studies ; and al- 
though he met with difficulties, they were more 
easily mastered than before. Indeed, he him- 
self asserted that he learned more in one day 
then than in a month before. His understand- 
ing was quickened, as well as his feelings and 
affections. He loved learning, because it came 
from the God Avho is the fountain of all know- 
ledge, and was the object of his adoration. 
Finding, in the Holy Scriptures, that " the 
heavens declare the glory of God, and the fir- 
mament showeth his handiwork," he devoted 
himself to the sublime and elevating study of 
astronomy. Dr. Derham's admirable work on 
astro-theology, and the use which he made 
of a small achromatic telescope, afforded him 
much pleasure and instruction. He also read, 
about this time, Ray's " Wisdom of God in the 
Creation," which was the means of directing 
his mind to the study of natural philosophy. 
All this study tended to settle him in the faith, 
and establish him in the truth. 

He began to labour for the good of others, 
and commenced his operations in his own 
family. It grieved him to perceive that family 
prayer was not observed by them, except on 
the sabbath, and no one seemed disposed to 
bear the cross. His youth was his principal 
hinderance ; but knowing that that family is 
cursed which " calls not upon the name of the 



Lord," and that his religious character demand- 
ed of him to take up this cross, he at last did 
so, and continued family worship as long as he 
remained under his father's roof. 

The effect of his religious conversation on 
the family was great ; they became concerned 
for their souls, attended Methodist preaching, 
and most of them were finally members of the 
society. He was equally active among his 
school-fellows, and with some success. One 
of them, Andrew Coleman, became deeply in- 
terested for his soul's salvation. He was a 
young man of fine talents, and promised to be 
very useful as an itinerant preacher, but he was 
cut down almost at the starting point of his 
race, by premature death* 

Adam laboured in the neighbourhood for the 
spiritual improvement of his acquaintance, con- 
versing with them much and frequently about 
their souls' salvation, and reading and expound- 
ing the Scriptures. In addition to this, he often 
went several miles into the country, attending 
class-meetings, and endeavouring to communi- 
cate that love which burned so warmly in his 
own heart. In winter he frequently started 
two hours before day-light, heedless of cold, 
rain, or snow. In summer he would go to the 
top of a hill, and observe the villages which 
could be seen from its summit. After this sur- 
vey, he walked to the nearest, entered the 
first open door, pronounced a blessing on the 

* An account of this extraordinary young man was after- 
ward published by Dr. Clarke : it is now published in a 
Tract, No. 206. 



house, and requested permission to pray with 
them. If they consented, he desired them to 
call in a few of their neighbours. He then gave 
out a hymn, sung, delivered an exhortation, 
prayed, and departed for the next village. His 
youth, his serious deportment, and the singu- 
larity of the proceeding arrested attention, and 
made a deep impression. He thus carried his 
usefulness through a large sphere of influence, 
and cultivated a field which the inactivity of 
others might have left untilled, to grow up in a 
luxuriant harvest of ignorance and vice. 

Young Clarke devoted himself to the orna- 
mental branches of the mathematics and to 
French ; in neither of which does he appear, at 
that time, to have made much progress. He 
even amused himself with making short hymns, 
and turning several of the Psalms of David into 
metre. He once succeeded in paraphrasing, 
in verse, the first four chapters of Solomon's 
Song, and wrote other fragments of a poetic 
nature. The writing of poetry, however, being 
very unlikely to procure him bread, and hardly 
conducive to the conversion of souls, he relin- 
quished it as an unprofitable business. 

He was put an apprentice to Mr. Bennet, a 
linen-draper of Coleraine ; in which situation 
he had a very good prospect of becoming well 
settled in the world. As his parents were not 
able to educate him for the ministry, they deem- 
ed this a very eligible situation. Adam was 
passive, waiting to see the direction to which 
Providence would point. He went for a month 


on trial, but he remained eleven months without 
being bound. His religious friends objected 
strongly to his remaining, believing that the Lord 
had called him to " minister in holy things." 

In this state of the case he knew not what 
course to pursue ; but finally resolved, that, as 
his spiritual interest was decidedly more mo- 
mentous than his temporal promotion, and as 
the requirements of the business would inter- 
fere with his religious duties, he would retire 
from the employment of Mr. Bennet, and seek 
some more congenial mode of life. 

He parted with that gentleman on the best 
of terms. If he had desired it, Mr. Bennet 
would have established him in some other busi- 
ness of equal or greater profit, but not feeling 
any disposition to accept the offer, he thanked 
Mr. B. for his kindness, and left him in a state 
of affectionate attachment, which existed to the 
day of his death. At this time the preacher 
on Coleraine circuit, believing that God had 
called Adam to the work of the ministry, wrote 
concerning him to Mr. Wesley, who kindly 
offered to place him in Kingswood school, in 
order that he might increase his classical 
knowledge, and exercise himself by preaching 
at the neighbouring appointments. This pro- 
posal was received by his parents not merely 
with dissatisfaction, but with actual indignation. 
Here, for a season, the matter rested. 

While in Coleraine he read Baxter's " Saints' 
Everlasting Rest," and the " Journal of Mr. 
David Brainerd," missionary among the Arae- 


rican Indians. From the first work he received 
a deeper acquaintance with experimental re- 
ligion, and from the second he imbibed the 
spirit of a missionary ; and he used to remark, 
" If I continue to be a Christian, I owe it, under 
God, to the former ; if I ever was a preacher, 
I owe it, under the same grace, to the latter." 
He was also much edified by the preaching of 
Rev. Mr. Rutherford ; (the husband of the lady 
who lent him the books mentioned above ;) and 
when he visited Agherton, Adam was accus- 
tomed to follow him to his various appointments, 
sitting with delight under his ministry. 

While with Mr. Bennet, he was instrumental 
in bringing one of the servants to repentance. 
She had been the source of much trouble to 
him, and persecuted him for no other reason than 
that he was a Methodist. The extremely kind 
manner in which he bore all her taunts and 
insolence, operated most powerfully upon her 
mind. He prayed to God to convert her from 
the error of her way. She was at length struck 
with conviction. Her struggle was long and 
agonizing, and the extreme wickedness of her 
life caused her almost to despair of pardon. 
Adam, however, continued to give her direction 
and advice, to afford her consolation from the 
Bible, and to point her to the Lamb of God. 
Under the blessing of Heaven his labours result- 
ed in her conversion ; and thirty years after that 
he found her still keeping the faith. 

About this time he experienced a severe 
affliction of mind. In contemplating the cha- 



racter of God, he was led to look particularly 
upon his attributes as a God of justice and truth, 
For fear of incurring his displeasure, he became 
watchful over his conduct, took care to do 
nothing which was not sanctioned by the autho- 
rity of God's holy word, and spoke extremely lit- 
tle, lest he should violate the truth. He became 
so scrupulous, that every thing appeared to him 
doubtful ; and at length he was afraid to affirm or 
deny any thing. He distrusted his memory and 
senses ; and when he returned from an errand, he 
could give no satisfactory account of the business 
with which he had been intrusted. When asked r 
"Adam, have you been at ?" he would an- 
swer, " I think I have, sir." " Did you see Mr. 

V 9 u I believe I did." " Did you deliver the 

message ?? " I think so " " What did he say ?" 
" I cannot say ; I am not sure that he said so and 
so, if I have ever been there and seen him ; and 
I am not sure that he did not say what I have 
just now told you." " Why, Adam, I cannot 
tell what you mean \ pray be more attentive in 
future." At length all appeared to him as the 
creations of dreams ; his existence itself seemed 
a vision. His sufferings became extreme ; and 
for three weeks he continued in this painful 
situation. But in all his trials and temptations he 
never for a moment doubted the truth of the 
sacred Scriptures. 

The manner in which he was relieved was 
this : he was one evening in a prayer meeting,, 
and a brother, who knew nothing of the state 
of Adam's mind,, offered up the following pe- 



tition : " Lord, if there be any here against 
whom the accuser hath stood up, succour that 
soul, and cast the accuser down." The thought 
immediately occurred to him, " I am the person : 
the accuser of the brethren hath stood up, and 
is standing up against me : Lord, cast him 
down, and deliver me !" His prayer was heard. 
He saw the snare, and " was enabled to 
escape it." 

He now began to exercise his memory, and 
at first it required a great deal of labour to 
enable him to commit even a few lines. His 
memory, however, became stronger by degrees, 
but never completely recovered its energy. He 
was thus thrown upon his judgment, which, 
perhaps, to this circumstance owed its cultiva- 
tion. He remarks, "I have preached, perhaps, 
five thousand sermons on all kinds of subjects, 
and on a great variety of occasions, and did not 
know beforehand one single sentence that I 
should utter." 


Goes to a distant part of the circuit — Encouraged on the 
way — First sermon — Mr. Wesley invites him to England — 
His parents object — He has recourse to prayer — His pa- 
rents consent — Starts for England — His passage — Stays 
in Liverpool with the captain of the vessel— Goes to Bris- 
tol — His opinion of Kings wood — Meets with the most disa- 
greeable treatment there — Sees Mr. Wesley for the first 
time — Is confirmed by Bishop Bagot — Becomes a travelling 

Adam Clarke had not as yet received what 
he deemed a satisfactory call to the work of 



the regular ministry. Feeling no anxiety on 
the subject, having no ambition to become a 
preacher, he waited quietly and patiently the 
opening of that providence in which he had 
always trusted. 

Soon after he left Coleraine, Mr. Bredin, 
who was the preacher on the circuit, was in a 
distant part of his extensive parish, and sent 
for Adam to come and spend a week or two 
with him. His parents not objecting, he pre- 
pared for his journey, which was thirty miles, 
and which he had to walk. Just before he 
started he took up the Bible, and prayed the 
Spirit of light to direct him to some passage 
which should be a profitable subject for con- 
templation on the way. He opened the book, 
and the first words he saw were these, " Ye 
have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, 
and ordained you, that ye should go and bring 
forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: 
that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father, in 
my name, he may give it you," John xv, 16. 

Thus encouraged, he proceeded. When he 
reached the city, he saw Mr. Bredin, who de- 
sired him to go the next night, and supply his 
place at a village five miles distant. Mr. 
Bredin insisted on his taking a text. To this 
he objected, as he had never ventured to do 
so. The minister, however, told him that the 
people would not be satisfied unless he did. 
He submitted to authority, and went to dis- 
charge his duty. He preached his first ser- 
mon June 19th, 1782, from the text, u We know 



that we are of God, and the whole world lieth 
in wickedness," 1 John v, 19. 

After the fortnight had expired, he returned 
to his home, with a full persuasion that he was 
called of God to preach the gospel. Though 
not ordained of men, he felt that he was called 
of God, and was greatly encouraged in his 

Not long after his return, a letter was re- 
ceived by Mr. Bredin from Mr. Wesley, ap- 
pointing him to England, and requesting him to 
bring A. Clarke with him, in order that he might 
be sent to Kings wood school. This highly dis- 
pleased the family. His father refused to see 
or speak to him; his mother threatened him 
with God's displeasure, and appealed to his 
feelings of respect for his parents. She told 
him that she believed he was upright, and de- 
sired to do what was proper, but remarked, that 
as he was the only remaining son, and as his 
father could not last for ever, it was his duty to 
remain and support those who had laboured so 
long for his maintenance. She quoted the 
" first commandment with promise," namely, 
" Honour thy father and mother, that thy days 
may be long in the land which the Lord thy 
God giveth thee and concluded by telling 
him, that if he went he " should have a pa- 
rent's curse, and not her blessing." 

In this difficulty, as in all others, he had re- 
course to prayer. Having spent a few days in 
Coleraine on business, he was surprised to find 
on his return an entire change in his mother's 



sentiments. She felt that if God had called 
him to the work she could freely give him up, 
and having exerted her influence with his 
father, both his parents said, in relation to the 
matter, " We submit." 

In a few days he started for the city of Lon- 
donderry, whence he was to go to England. His 
religious friends commended him to God, and 
having taken an affectionate leave of his pa- 
rents he started for Derry, in the expectation 
of being accompanied by Mr. Bredin to England. 
In this, however, he was disappointed, Mr. Wes- 
ley having remanded Mr. Bredin's appointment. 
Adam, consequently, had to go alone. So he pur- 
chased a loaf of bread and a pound of cheese, 
and with this provision set sail for Liverpool on 
Saturday, August 17, 1782, and arrived in that 
city on the following Monday. The captain of 
the vessel in which he sailed was a man of 
good sense and polished manners, and had fre- 
quent and serious conversations with his young 
passenger. The sailors, too, were orderly and 
respectful ; and but for a little sea sickness, the 
passage would have been quite pleasant. 

While in the river Mersey they were board- 
ed by a press-gang, who were in the river 
raising supplies of men for the navy. Two 
young men who were on board hid themselves 
when they heard of the approach of these 
" legalized invaders of freedom ;" but Adam 
stood his ground, feeling that he was in the 
hands of the Lord, and if he permitted him to 
be sent on board of a man-of-war, doubtless, 



he had something for him to do there. He ac- 
cordingly betook himself to prayer, and awaited 
the issue. When the ruffians mounted the deck 
they called for all hands, and Adam stepped 
boldly up. They searched the sloop, and found 
one of the young men who had hid himself, 
and took him with them. The leader examined 
Adam, pronounced him a priest, and on account 
of his appearance not giving them encourage- 
ment to expect much hard labour from him, 
they let him pass. He was sufficiently affected 
by this scene to have a dread of all press- 
gangs thereafter. 

When on shore Adam requested the captain 
to give him direction to some respectable 
boarding-house, where he might spend the 
night, as he intended to start for Bristol next 
day. The captain took him to his own house, 
and presented him, with many encomiums, to 
his lady. Here he entered into religious con- 
versation with the family, and although there 
was a naval captain present, who professed to 
be a papist, he still kept the even tenor of his 
way, being able to give a reason of the hope 
which was in him. They calmly discussed the 
points of doctrine on which they differed, and 
Adam entered into a refutation of them, and 
based his arguments firmly on Scripture and 
reason. The question of the priests' power to 
forgive sins afforded him an opportunity to 
dilate on the sinfulness of the unregenerated 
heart, showing that all had come short of the 
glory of God, and that there was no hope of sal- 



vation save through Christ. He descanted on the 
ability of Christ to save, and the glorious theme of 
the atonement, until all were melted to tears, and 
then suddenly dropping on his knees, which all 
the company followed, he began to pray to God 
in such earnestness that every mind seemed to 
be powerfully wrought upon. The fruits of this 
night's labours, the great harvest of the judg- 
ment only will make manifest. 

The following morning he breakfasted with 
a Mr. Ray, who dissuaded him from the pur- 
pose he had formed of going from Liverpool to 
Bristol (nearly two hundred miles) on foot. 
He, therefore, took an outside seat on the 
coach to Birmingham, and was two days in 
making the journey from Liverpool to that place. 
On the road he neglected not to administer 
reproof wherever it was called for. To the 
company among whom he was thrown, who 
were genteel, (and one of whom was learned,) 
he had an opportunity of unfolding and enforcing 
the doctrines of the Christian religion. This 
he did not neglect, and in this he showed his 
wisdom ; for the true follower of Christ, what- 
ever be his pursuit, has innumerable occasions 
to drop a word in season, which may be spoken 
to the good of some soul. 

When he reached Birmingham, he found out 
the brother of his friend, Rev. Mr. Brettell, 
with whom he stayed until his departure from 
Bristol, and who conducted him to the various 
religious meetings in the neighbourhood. Mr. 
B. wished to know " what he proposed by 



going to Kings wood school ?" Adam, who con- 
sidered the institution as little inferior to a 
university, answered, that he " hoped to get in 
it an increase of learning, of knowledge, and 
of piety." His friend's reply was, " I hope 
you may not be disappointed ; I question whether 
you will meet there with any thing you expect." 
Adam, in his surprise, referred to the accounts 
contained in the late magazines, which were 
fully sufficient to justify his great expectations. 
Mr. B. remarked, "I only wish to put you on 
your guard against suffering pain and discou- 
ragement, should you be disappointed. Some 
of us know the place well ; and know that you 
will not meet in it what you have been led to 
expect." These sayings were, indeed, strange 
to him. In Mr. B.'s family he was treated as 
their own child, and ever cherished for them a 
deep and affectionate regard. 

He reached Bristol at eight o'clock on the 
evening of August 24th, having travelled seven- 
teen hours with no other refreshment than a 
penny loaf and a halfpenny worth of apples. 
Being exposed to stormy weather, he was several 
times wet to the skin. He remained at the inn 
during the night, and having paid all charges, 
he had but three halfpence to bear his expenses 
at Kingswood ! He walked down to the school 
in the morning, and arrived there just as preach- 
ing was commencing, and heard a consoling 
discourse from the text, " Woman, why weep- 
est thou ? whom seekest thou ?" After service 
he inquired for the head master, Mr. Simp- 



son, to whom he presented Mr. Wesley's 
letter. Mr. S. said he knew nothing of the 
matter, that there was no room, and that Mr. W. 
would not be there for a fortnight ; he told 
Adam, in conclusion, that he must go back to 
Bristol to lodge, until Mr. Wesley's return. 
Alas ! how soon was the paradise of young 
Clarke's imagination changed into a most deso- 
late waste ! 

He told Mr. Simpson that he could not go back 
to Bristol, as he had expended all his money. 
The reply was, that Kingswood was only de- 
signed for the children of preachers, or for such 
preachers as could not read their Bible ! and 
recommended Adam to go into the general 
work, as there was no room in the school, and 
no bed to spare. 

The rest of this account will be given in Dr. 
Clarke's own words : — 

" At last it was agreed, that there was a 
spare room on the end of the chapel, where I 
might lodge till Mr. Wesley should come from 
Cornwall : and that I must stay in that room, 
and not come into the house. I was accord- 
ingly shown to the place, and was told one of 
the maids should bring me my daily food. As 
soon as I was left alone, I kneeled down and 
poured out my soul to God with strong crying 
and tears. I was a stranger in a strange land, 
and alas ! among strange people : utterly friend- 
less and pennyless. I felt, also, that I was 
not at liberty to run av:ay : — this, I believe, 
would have been grateful to the unfeeling 



people into whose hands I had fallen. But I 
soon found why I was thus cooped up in my 
prison-housed Mr. S. that day took an oppor- 
tunity to tell me that Mrs. S, suspected that I 
might have the itch, as many persons coming 
from my country had; [this was excellent 
from Scotch people, for such they both were ;] 
and that they could not let me mingle with the 
family. I immediately tore open my waistcoat 
and shirt, and showed him a skin as white and 
as clean as ever had come across the Tweed ; 
but all to no purpose, — * It might be cleaving 
somewhere to me, and they could not be satisfied 
itii I had rubbed myself, from head to foot, with a 
box of Jackson 9 s itch ointment, which should be 
procured for me next duy P 

" It was only my strong hold of God that 
kept me from distraction. But to whom could 
I make my complaint ? Earthly refuge I had 
none. It is utterly impossible for me to de- 
scribe the feelings, I may justly say the agony, 
of my mind. I surveyed my apartment ; there 
was a wretched old bureau wainscot bedstead, 
not worth ten shillings, and a bed and bed- 
clothes not worth much more : but the worst 
was, they were very scanty, and the weather 
was cold and tuet. There was one rush bot- 
tomed chair in the place, and besides these, 
neither carpet on the floor, nor at the bedside, 
nor any other kind of furniture. There was no 
book, not even a Bible, in the place ; and my 
own box, with my clothes and a few books, 
was behind at the Lamb Inn, in Bristol; and I 



had not even a change of linen. Of this I in- 
formed them, and begged them to let the man 
(as I found he went in with a horse and small 
cart three times a week) bring out my box to 
me. To this request, often and earnestly re- 
peated, I got no definite answer, but no box 
was brought. 

" Jackson } s ointment was brought, it is true ; 
and with this unguent I was obliged to anoint 
myself before a large fire, (the first and last I 
saw while I remained there,) which they had 
ordered to be lighted for the purpose. In this 
state, smelling worse than a polecat, I tumbled 
with a heavy heart and streaming eyes into 
my worthless bed. The next morning the 
sheets had taken from my body, as far as they 
came in contact with it, the unabsorbed parts 
of this tartareous compound : and the smell of 
them and myself was almost insupportable. 
I begged the woman that brought my bread and 
milk for breakfast, for dinner, and for supper, 
— for generally I had nothing else, and not 
enough of that, — to let me have a pair of clean 
sheets. It was in vain : no clean clothes of 
any kind were afforded me ; I was left to make 
my own bed, sweep my own room, &c, &c, as 
I pleased ! For more than three weeks no soul 
performed any kind act for me. And as they 
did not give orders to the man to bring out my 
box, I was left without a change of any kind, 
till the Thursday of the second week ; when I 
asked permission to go out of my prison-house 
to Bristol for my box ; which being granted, I 



walked to Bristol and carried my box on my 
head, more than four miles, without any kind of 
assistance ! It was then no loss that my ward- 
robe was not extensive. As for books, I brought 
none with me but a small 18mo. Bible, a 12mo. 
edition of Young's Night Thoughts, Prideaux's 
Connections, and Buck's 8vo. Greek Testament. 

"As both the days and nights were very cold, 
the season then being unnaturally so, I begged 
to have a little fire. This was denied me, 
though coals were very cheap ; and had it been 
otherwise, they were not at their expense ; they 
were paid for out of the public collections made 
for that school, to which many of my friends 
made an annual liberal offering. 

" One day, having seen Mr. Simpson walking 
in the garden, I went to him, and showed him my 
fingers, then bloodless through cold ! He took 
me to the hall, showed me a cord which hung 
from the roof, to the end of which was affixed 
a cross stick ; and told me to jump up and 
catch hold of the stick, and swing by my 
hands, and that would help to restore the circu- 
lation. I did so : and had been at the exercise 
only a few minutes, when Mrs. S. came and 
drove both him and myself away, under pre- 
tence that we should dirty the floor ! From this 
woman I received no kindness. When nearly 
crippled with cold, and I had stolen into the 
kitchen to warm myself for a few moments, if I 
heard her voice in the hall, I have run as a man 
would who is pursued in the jungles of Bengal 
by a royal tiger. 



"This woman was equally saving of the can- 
dles, as of the coals : if nay candle were not 
extinguished by nine o'clock, I was called to 
account for it. My bed not being comfortable, 
I did not like to lie much in it ; and therefore 
kept out of it as late, and rose from it as early 
as possible. To prevent Mrs. S. from seeing 
the reflection of the light through my window, 
(for my prison-house was opposite the school, 
over the way,) I was accustomed to set my 
candle on the floor behind my bureau bed, take 
off my coat and hang it on my chair's back, 
bring that close on the other angle, and then 
sit down on the floor and read ! To these mi- 
serable expedients was I driven in order to 
avoid my bed, and spend my time in the best 
manner I could for the cultivation of my mind, 
and to escape the prying eye of this woman, 
who seemed never to be in her element but 
when she was driving every thing before her. 

" I asked and got permission to work in the 
garden. The fine quickset hedges were all 
overgrown; these I reduced to order by the 
shears : and I had done this so well that my 
taste and industry were both applauded. I oc- 
casionally dug and dressed plots in the ground. 
This was of great service to me, as it gave me 
a sufficiency of exercise, and I had on the 
whole better health ; and there was a sort of 
pond of rain water in the garden, where I oc- 
casionally bathed, scanty indeed of water, for 
there is none in the place but what falls from 
heaven ; and for a temporary occupation of 



their premises, I was obliged to contend with 
frogs, and vermin of different kinds. 

" The preaching, and public band-meeting 
at the chapel, were often sources of spiritual 
refreshment to me ; and gave me songs in the 
house of my pilgrimage. 

" One Thursday evening, when Mr. Thomas 
Rankin, who was superintendent (then called 
assistant) of the circuit, had preached, the 
bands met ; and as I made it a point never to 
attend band-meeting or love-feast, without deli- 
vering my testimony for God, I spoke : and 
without entering into trials, temptations, or dif- 
ficulties of any kind, I simply stated my confi- 
dence in God, the clear sense I had of my ac- 
ceptance with Him, and my earnest desire for 
complete purity of heart. When the meeting 
was ended, Mr. R. came to me, and asked me 
if I had ever led a class 1 I said, I had often, 
in my own country, but not since I came to 
England. ' Have you ever preached V I an- 
swered, I had often exhorted in public, but had 
taken a text only a few times. He then told 
me I must go and meet a class at Mangotsfield 
the next day; and preach at Downend the next 
Wednesday. I met the class, and preached as 
appointed, and had great favour in the sight of 
the people. 

" From that time Mr. Rankin was my steady 
friend. I have had an intimate acquaintance 
with him for upward of thirty years ; and we 
never had the slightest misunderstanding. He 
was an authoritative man ; and many com- 



plained of him on this account ; he had not 
many friends, his manner being often apparently- 
austere. But he was a man of unblemished 
character, truly devoted to God, and zealous in 
his work. I attended him on his death-bed in 
London : he died as a Christian and minister 
of Christ should die, — full of confidence in 
God, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. 

" I have already noticed that, for the sake 
of exercise, I often worked in the garden. Ob- 
serving one day a small plot which had been 
awkwardly turned over by one of the boys, I 
took the spade and began to dress it : in break- 
ing one of the clods, I knocked a half-guinea 
out of it. I took it up and immediately said 
to myself, This is not mine ; it belongs not to 
any of my family, for they have never been 
here ; I will take the first opportunity to give 
it to Mr. Simpson. Shortly after, I perceived 
him walking in the garden. I went to him, told 
him the circumstance, and presented the half- 
guinea to him ; he took it, looked at it, and 
said, 4 It may be mine, as several hundred 
pounds pass through my hands in the course 
of the year, for the expenses of this school ; 
but I do not recollect that I ever lost any mo- 
ney since I came here. Probably one of the 
gentlemen has ; keep it, and in the mean time 
I will inquire.' I said, ' Sir, it is not mine, 
take you the money ; if you meet the right 
owner, well ; if not, throw it in the funds of 
the school.' He answered, 4 You must keep it 
till I make the inquiry.' I took it again with 



reluctance. The next day he told me that Mr. 
Bayley had lost a half-guinea, and I might give 
it to him the first time I saw him ; I did so : — - 
three days afterward Mr. Bayley came to me 
and said, 6 Mr. C, it is true, that I lost a half- 
guinea, but I am not sure that this is the half- 
guinea I lost ; unless I were so, I could not 
conscientiously keep it ; therefore you must 
take it again/ I said, ' It is not mine, proba- 
bly it is yours ; therefore I cannot take it.' He 
answered, ' 1 will not keep it : / have been 
uneasy in my mind ever since it came into my 
possession and, in saying this, he forced the 
gold into my hand. Mr. Simpson was present : 
I then presented it to him, saying, ' Here, Mr. 
S., take you it, and apply it to the use of the 
school.' He turned away hastily as from some- 
thing ominous, and said, 4 1 declare I will have 
nothing to do with it.' So it was obliged to 
remain with its finder, and formed a grand ad- 
dition to a purse that already possessed only 
three half-pence. 

On the morning of September 26th, 1782, 
Adam Clarke saw Rev. John Wesley for the 
first time. On his arrival at Bristol, Adam was 
presented to him and received with great kind- 
ness. Mr. W. inquired how long he had been 
in England, and after some conversation asked 
him, " Well, brother Clarke, do you wish to 
devote yourself entirely to the work of the 
Lord r His reply was, " Sir, I wish to be and 
do what God pleases." Mr. Wesley then in- 
formed him of a vacancy occasioned by the 



withdrawal of the young preacher who had 
been appointed to Bradford, (Wilts,) and re- 
quested Adam to hold himself in readiness to 
take his place. x\fter Mr. W. had laid his hands 
upon young Clarke's head and blessed him y and 
prayed God to make him useful, they parted. 

Two days after that he first saw Mr, Charles 
Wesley ; and was not a little gratified to think 
that he had been permitted to see the men 
whom he considered the two " very highest 
characters upon the face of the globe." 

One thing is to be remarked, that as soon 
as Mr. Wesley took a favourable notice of 
Adam, he was brought from his cell, placed in 
the room with the other boys, and permitted to 
dine at the same table with the family. The 
last act of tyranny which Mrs. Simpson inflict- 
ed upon Adam was the refusing to allow him 
to drink at the table, unless he went through 
the useless, and to his mind, foolish ceremony 
of drinking the health of the company present. 

Before he left Kingswood he was confirmed 
by the venerable Bishop Bagot, in the Collegi- 
ate Church, Bristol. He felt great satisfaction 
in participating in this sacred ordinance, but 
for it he received the pity of his tormentor, 
Mrs; S., for being " held so long to the oldness 
of the letter."* 

* Good Mr. Wesley, now nearly 80 years of age, and 
never inclined to think evil of any one, seems to have been 
grossly imposed upon by this woman and her husband. No> 
complaints of a similar kind, that we know of, have since 
been brought against the governors and stewards of Kings- 
wood school. — ELds. >• 



He left Kingswood, after having spent thirty- 
two days in it, and carried with him recollec- 
tions which ever after rendered the place disa- 
greeable in his sight. 

Probably a younger person than Adam Clarke 
had never been sent forth to labour, by the 
Methodist ministry. His youthful appearance 
obtained for him the name of the little boy. He 
was often tempted by the evil one on account 
of his youth, as perhaps is every minister as 
young as he was; but the circumstance which 
he judged so unfavourable to his usefulness 
operated strongly in his favour, and many came 
out to hear the boy, whose attendance the vene- 
rable servant of God might not have been able 
to secure. 

With a burning zeal for the promotion of the 
cause of God, Adam Clarke " went out as an 
itinerant preacher among the people called 
Methodists," on September 27, 1782. 




Sent to Bradford circuit — Success at Road — Reads on. 
horseback — Abandons his classical studies — Why — What 
caused him to resume them — Quits tea and coffee — Consci- 
entiousness — Appointed to Norwich circuit — State of the 
society — Invitation to breakfast — Domestic economy — Pri- 
vations Appointed to St. Austell's — Samuel Drew — 

Driven from a farmer's house — Accident — Chemistry — Sent 
to Plymouth Dock — His studies — Goes to the Norman 
Isles — Returns — Marriage — Persecution — Bristol circuit — 

Dublin — Mr. Wesley's death Manchester Stranger's 

Friend Society. 

Mr. Clarke's first field of labour was in Brad- 
ford circuit, which included the three counties of 
Wilts, Somerset, and Dorset ; and had more 
appointments on it than there are days in the 
month. We have already remarked that his 
extreme youth was often presented to him by 
the enemy of his soul as an obstacle to his 
usefulness. He would frequently think thus : 
" How can I expect that men and women, per- 
sons of forty, threescore, or more years, will 
come out to hear a boy preach the gospel ! And 
is it likely, if through curiosity they do come, 
that they will believe what / say ? As to the 
young, they are too gay and giddy to attend to 
divine things ; and if so, among whom lies the 
probability of my usefulness ?" He attracted, 
however, large congregations, and was received 
everywhere with great kindness. 

At one of the villages where an appointment 
had been announced for the little boy, he found 
assembled a great collection of young persons. 
After having preached he gave out the beauti- 



ful hymn, to be found in our common hymn 
book, beginning with the stanza, — 

" Vain, delusive world, adieu, 

"With all of creature good ! 
Only Jesus I pursue, 

Who bought me with his blood. 
All thy pleasures I forego, 

1 trample on thy wealth and pride ; 
Only Jesus will I know, 

And Jesus crucified !" 

At the conclusion of the singing, he stopped 
and addressed his audience thus : " My dear 
young friends, you have joined with me heartily, 
and, I dare say, sincerely, in singing this fine 
hymn. You know in whose presence we have 
been conducting this solemn service ; the eyes 
of God, of angels, and perhaps of devils, have 
been upon us. And what have we been doing ? 
We have been promising in the sight of all 
these, and of each other, that we will renounce 
a vain, delusive world — all its pleasures, pomp, 
and pride, and seek our happiness in God 
alone. *##**# 
Now, shall we promise, and not perform ? Shall 
we vow, and not keep our vow 1 God has 
heard what we have sung, and it is registered 
in heaven. What then do you purpose to do ? 
Will you continue to live to the world, and for- 
get that you owe your being to God, and have 
immortal souls which must spend an eternity 
in heaven or in hell, according to the state in 
which they are found when they leave this 
world ? We have no time to spare, scarcely 
any to deliberate in ; the Judge is at the door, 



and death is not far behind. I have tried both 
lives, and find that a religious life has an in- 
finite preference beyond the other. Let us 
therefore heartily forsake sin, vanity, and folly, 
and seek God by earnest prayer, nor rest till 
we find he has blotted out all our sins, purified 
our hearts, and filled us with peace and happi- 
ness. If we seek earnestly, and seek through 
Christ Jesus, we cannot be unsuccessful." He 
then prayed, and many were deeply affected. 
That night and the next morning thirteen 
young persons came to him, inquiring what 
they should do to be saved. The neighbour- 
hood became awakened to the importance of 
religion, and Methodism thenceforth prospered 
in that village. 

While he was thus made abundantly useful 
to others, he was endeavouring to improve him- 
self. A Hebrew grammar, written by one of 
the instructers at Kings wood, to which he sub- 
scribed while at that institution, had been re- 
ceived, and was carefully studied. With Latin, 
Greek, and French he did but little, owing to 
the want of a teacher's assistance. In summer 
he was accustomed to read while travelling on 
horseback, and in this manner he read through 
the four volumes of Mr. Wesley's Abridgment 
of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History. This me- 
thod of study was too irritating to his eyes, and 
dangerous besides ; but he had to remit it, on 
account of being straitened for time. 

A circumstance occurred about this time, 
which nearly put a period to his classical stu- 



dies. At one of his appointments he observed 
a Latin sentence pencilled on the wall, relative 
to the vicissitudes of life. He immediately sub- 
joined an apposite and beautiful passage from 
the iEneid of Virgil. The next preacher who 
followed him, seeing the lines, and understand- 
ing neither their meaning nor connection with 
the preceding sentence, wrote under them the 
following words:— 

" Did you write the above 

to show us you could write Latin ? 
For shame ! do send pride 
to hell, from whence it came. 
O, young man, improve your 
time, Eternity 's at hand." 

The ignorance and pride of this preacher dic- 
tated the lines he wrote ; for, not being able to 
brook an equal, he was not prepared to tole- 
rate a superior ; pride and wilful ignorance 
(twin sins) ever accompanying each other. 
Learning, instead of puffing up, is calculated 
to humble a man, and we shall generally find 
that the ignorant despise the learned much 
more than the learned despise the ignorant. 
x Upon the tender conscience of Adam Clarke 
this circumstance had a powerful influence. 
He reflected that the family had had the re- 
proachful effusion before them for a week, and 
he knew not how he should come into their 
presence. In an hour of temptation he threw 
himself on his knees, and solemnly promised 
his Maker that he would meddle with Latin 
and Greek no more. Hebrew, which he had 
just begun, was not included in the ban. When 



he asked the preacher why he had not sent 
him the reproof in a note, or delivered it in 

private, Mr. replied, that he thought this 

the more effectual way to produce a cure. Mr. 
Clarke then told him of the vow he had made, 
to desist from the study of literature ; this mis- 
taken minister of the gospel " applauded his 
teachableness and godly diligence, and assured 
him that he had never known any of the learn- 
ed preachers who was not a conceited cox- 
comb." What a compliment to the father of 
Methodism, " who, (in the words of Dr. Clarke, 
in his ' Letter to a Methodist Preacher,' &c.,) 
to his own great honour and the edification of 
thousands, had taken more successful pains to 
cultivate his mind than the whole tribe of those 
who are continually (in self-defence) ringing 
the Goth and Vandal changes on the popish 
eulogium of ignorance" 

This word, spoken out of season, had well 
nigh been the cause of depriving the world of 
the results of Dr. Clarke's improvement of his 
talents, and of " adding," in the words of his 
autobiography, " one more to the already too 
ample company of slothful servants and religious 
loungers in the Lord's inheritance." In the 
step he had taken, Mr. C. acted from conscien- 
tious motives ; but the Father of lights and 
Author of wisdom saw fit to deliver him from 
the bond of ignorance which Satan had thus 
ingeniously endeavoured to twine around him. 

He had not entirely lost the little knowledge 
of French which he had acquired in his younger 



years. And about 1786, he met with a piece of 
extraordinary merit, in Abbe Maury's Discourse 
on Eloquence ;* and being very much pleased 
with it, he translated the passage, and sent it 
to Mr. Wesley for insertion in the Arminian 
Magazine. Mr. W., " who was as decided a 
friend of learning as he was of religion," pub- 
lished the article ; and wrote back to Mr. C, 
" charging him to cultivate his mind, as far as 
his circumstances would allow, and not to forget 
any thing he had ever learned" 

Next to the word of God, the word of Mr. 
Wesley had the most influence with Mr. C. 
He began to reason with himself, and was led 
to the conclusion, that, although his vow to 
suspend his study of Latin and Greek was a 
solemn one, yet, all things considered, it was 
not required of him to keep it ; for the ignorant 
preacher who had been the cause of this vow 
was no competent judge ; and if it were lawful 
for any one to read the language in which the 
words of the prophets and the evangelists and 
apostles were written, it was lawful for him so 
to do ; and that breaking his promise would be 
a smaller evil than its observance. He kneeled 
down, begged God to forgive his vow, and the 
solemn manner in which he had made it, and, 
after a suspension of four years, (a great loss 
of precious time,) resumed those studies which 
he had abandoned, under the full persuasion 
that, in so doing, he had the blessing of the 

* A work now published at our Book Room. — Eds. 



In the course of the same year he read Mr. 
Wesley's " Letter on Tea," and finding in it 
arguments which he could not answer, he gave 
up the use of that beverage, and abstained from 
it to the day of his death. By this denial he 
saved a great deal of time, which otherwise 
might have been spent at the tea-table. For 
the current year, the conference was held in 
Bristol ; and Mr. C. attended its session. There, 
on Wednesday, Aug. 6th, 1783, he was ad- 
mitted into full connection, after having travelled 
only about eleven months. The regulation which 
now requires a preacher to travel four years 
did not then exist ; but even before it took 
place, no one had ever been admitted as early 
as Mr. C. He again dedicated himself to God 
and to the work of the ministry. 

A circumstance occurred at his examination 
which proved how conscientious he was about 
small matters. One of the questions asked the 
candidates is, " Are you in debt ?" It so hap- 
pened that, while walking that morning, Mr. 
Clarke had borrowed a halfpenny from a brother 
preacher to bestow upon a poor man. As the 
preacher had left town during the day, he had no 
opportunity to discharge the debt. Here was a 
dilemma. If in answer to the question he were 
to say, " / am not in debt" it would not be 
strictly true ; and if he were to inform them of 
the amount of his obligation, his brethren might 
conclude that he was a fool. When, therefore, 
the interrogatory was propounded, Are you in 
debt ? he avoided the difficulty with admirable 



address, by replying, M Not one penny thus 
saving both his conscience and reputation. 

While on Bradford circuit he had preached 
five hundred and six times, besides numberless 
exhortations and pastoral visits. At this con- 
ference he was appointed to Norwich circuit, 
and arrived in that city on Saturday evening, 
August 16th, 1783. When he reached that 
place, which was the head of his circuit, he 
found one of his predecessors ill of a fever ; 
and although the disorder was considered con- 
tagious, and he was obliged to sleep in the 
same room, he did not catch the infection. 

In this field of labour, one of his colleagues 
was the venerable Richard Whatcoat, who after- 
ward became one of the bishops of the Me- 
thodist Episcopal Church in this country. 
The state of the society was discouraging. 
Methodism, and, indeed, religion generally, was 
at a low ebb; while lukewarmness and Anti- 
nornianism everywhere prevailed. The society 
was poor ; the preachers' house was occupied 
by a family that supplied them with food, charg- 
ing so much a meal, and sending the bill to the 
stewards. Of course the preacher who ate the 
fewest meals was the most popular man ; and 
Mr. C.'s habits of abstinence gave him the ad- 
vantage in this respect. Occasionally the preach- 
ers were invited out ; and a ludicrous circum- 
stance connected with one of those invitations 
is thus related by Mr. Clarke's biographer : — 

" After preaching one morning at five o'clock, 
a young woman of the society came to him 



and said, * Sir, will you do me the favour to 
breakfast with me this morning? I breakfast 
always at eight o'clock/ 4 1 thank you/ said 
he, ' but I know not where you live/ * 0/ 
said she, 1 1 live in street, near Maudlin- 
gate, No. / 4 1 do not know the place/ 

* Well ; but you cannot well miss it, after the 
directions I shall give you/ 4 Very well/ 
1 You must cross Cherry-lane, and go to the 
Quakers' preaching-house : do you know it V 
1 Yes/ 4 Well, then, leave the Quakers' 
preaching-house on the left hand, and go right 
down that lane till you come to the bottom ; and 
then, on your right hand, you will see a door 
that appears to lead into a garden, with an 
inscription over it : — 4 Can you read V 4 Yes, 
a little/ 4 Well, then, the board will direct you 
so and so, and you cannot then miss/ 4 Thank 
you : I shall endeavour to be with you at the 
time appointed/ 4 1 went/ said Mr. C, 4 and 
because I had the happiness of being able to 
read, I found out my way/ " This incident 
shows how little the early Methodists expected 
from their preachers. 

Another anecdote will exhibit Mr. Clarke's 
address in small matters of domestic economy. 
The bellows belonging to the preachers' house 
in Norwich were so worn out that they could 
hold no wind. The poker, too, was burned to 
the stump ; and the fire-riddle, or cinder-sifter, 
was worn beyond use. The society there was 
too poor to have these superannuated instru- 
ments replaced by new ones. Matters with 


them had reached a crisis, and Mr. Clarke's 
sagacity and prudence dictated that something 
must be done. He sent for twopence worth 
of tacks, and cutting the materials of a pair of 
leathern breeches, so as to suit the dimensions 
of the bellows, he repaired them so neatly that 
they answered the purpose of a new instru- 
ment. The tin of an old saucepan was pressed 
into service to mend the riddle ; and thus, at 
the expense of twopence, he rendered both 
bellows and riddle of use. The stewards, re- 
marking his praiseworthy economy and per- 
severance, made a courageous effort, and 
succeeded in getting the old poker repaired. 

On this circuit Mr. Clarke was frequently 
obliged to carry his saddle-bags and walk to 
his appointments. The winter of 1783 was 
exceedingly severe ; and in several weeks of 
it he lodged in a loft, where he could see all 
that was going on below through the openings 
in the floor, and sometimes in an out-house, 
where, perhaps, for seven years together there 
had not been a spark of fire lighted. He has 
often gone to bed with his clothes on, stripping 
himself as the bed became warmer ; and con- 
fined himself to one position, as every unoccu- 
pied part of it was so cold, that he could not 
suffer his limbs to come in contact with it. 
Occasionally he has taken a hammer and chisel, 
and with a parcel of brown paper stopped up 
the crevices in the rooms where he has been 
obliged to lodge. Notwithstanding all this, he 
and his fellow-labourers went cheerfully \A* 



proclaim the gospel to those who, otherwise, 
might never have heard of the means of salva- 

His engagements on this circuit prevented 
him from devoting much time to study. He 
read a little Hebrew and French, but his vow 
prevented him from devoting any time to Latin 
and Greek. On Saturday, August 7th, he re- 
ceived a letter from the Leeds Conference, 
informing him that he was appointed to St. 
Austell circuit, Cornwall, which lay four hun- 
dred miles from the place where he then was. 
With a guinea and a half-crown to bear his 
expenses, he started on his journey. He 
travelled at the rate of forty miles a day ; and 
was obliged, by the limited state of his funds, 
to deny himself much refreshment that would 
have been very agreeable on such a fatiguing 
travel. Nothing but the love of God, and a 
desire to promote the good of his fellow-men, 
could ever have sustained him under these 
privations. During the eleven months he spent 
on Norwich circuit, he preached four hundred 
and fifty sermons, not including exhortations. 

On Saturday, August 28th, he reached the 
town of St. Austell. On this circuit he had 
forty regular appointments, besides many places 
to be visited where preaching had not yet been 
established. During the year, a gracious re- 
vival of religion broke out, and many were 
gathered into the fold of Christ. Among those 
who joined the Methodist societies was the 
celebrated Samuel Drew. At that time he was 



an apprentice to a shoemaker ; but afterward, 
by his untiring efforts and diligence in study, 
he became one of the greatest metaphysicians 
of his age and country. He was a man of great 
amiability of disposition, of remarkable piety, 
and gigantic mind. He afterward became a 
local preacher in the Methodist Church ; and 
the publication of his works on the " Imma- 
teriality and Immortality of the Soul," the 
" Identity and Resurrection of the Human 
Body," and the " Being and Attributes of God," 
have established his fame as an acute reasoner 
and powerful writer. 

Soon after Mr. Clarke's arrival at this circuit, 
he went to a farmer P.'s, where he had to 
preach that night and the next morning to a 
small society which had been formed there. 
After a fatiguing travel he reached the place. 
When he entered the house, he found only 
" the good woman within, the other members 
of the family being at work in the harvest field. 
She asked him if he had dined: he said, No. 
She then brought him the remains of a cold 
apple pie, of the rudest confection ; the apples 
were not peeled, even the snuffs and stalks were 
on them, and the crust was such, that, though 
the apples in baking shrunk much, yet the crust 
disdained to follow them, and stood over the 
dish like a well-built arch, almost impenetrable 
to knife or teeth. He sat down to this homely 
fare, thanked God, and took courage. After a 
little, the good woman brought him some cream, 
saying, ' I'll give you a little cream to the pie ; 



but I cannot afford it to my own family.' This 
appeared odd to him. He had nothing besides 
this pie and cream, except a drink of water. He 
went and cleaned his horse, and waited till the 
farmer came in from the field ; between whom, 
in substance, passed the following dialogue : — 
Who art thou ? I am a Methodist preacher : my 
name is Adam Clarke. And what is thee comin 
here for ? To preach to yourself, your family, 
and your neighbours. Who sent thee here? I 
received a plan from Mr. Wrigley, and your 
place stands for this night and to-morrow morn- 
ing. / expect other friends to-morrow, and thou 
shalt not stay here. Why, — will you not have 
the preaching ? No, I will have none of thy 
preaching, nor any of thy brethren. But will it 
not be wrong to deprive your family and neigh- 
bours of what may be profitable to them, though 
you may not desire it? Thee shalt not stay 
here : I vnll have no more Methodist preaching. 
Well, I will inform Mr. Wrigley of it ; and I 
dare say he will not send any more, if you 
desire it not : but as I am a stranger in the 
country, and know not my way, and it is now 
toward evening, I hope you will give me a 
night's lodging, and I will, please God, set off 
to-morrow morning. / tell thee, thee shalt not 
stay here. What, would you turn a stranger out 
into a strange country, of which he knows no- 
thing, and so late in the evening too ? Where 
was thee last night ? I was at Polperro. Then 
go there. It is out of my reach : besides, I have 
to preach at Bodmin to-morrow evening. Then 



go to Bodmin. I have never yet been there ; 
am not expected there to-night ; and know no 
person in the place : pray give me the shelter 
of your roof for the night / tell thee, thee shalt 
not stay here. Are you really in earnest ? / am. 
Well, then, if I must go, can you direct me the 
way to Ruthernbridge ; I was there on Thurs- 
day, and am sure I shall be welcome again. 
Thee must inquire the road to Bodmin. How far 
is Ruthernbridge hence 1 About fifteen or sixteen 
miles ; so thee hadst best be getting off. I will 
set off immediately. Mr. Clarke then went and 
put on his boots, repacked his shoes, &c, in his 
saddle-bags, and went to the stable and saddled 
his horse ; the farmer standing by and looking 
on, but lending no assistance. He then mounted 
his horse, and spoke to this effect : — £ Now, sir, 
I am a stranger, and you refused me the com- 
mon rites of hospitality : I am a messenger of 
the Lord Jesus, coming to you, your family, and 
your neighbours, with the glad tidings of salva- 
tion by Jesus Christ ; and you have refused to 
receive me: for this* you must account at the 
bar of God. In the mean time I must act as 
any Lord has commanded me ; and wipe off 
against you even the dust of your floor that cleaves 
to the soles of my feet J So saying, he took his 
right foot out of the stirrup, and with his hand 
wiped off the dust from his sole: he did the 
like to his left foot, and rode slowly off, saying, 
& Remember, a messenger of peace came to 
your house with the gospel of Jesus ; and you 
laavo rejected both him and his message !' He 



went on his way ; and the farmer turned into 
his house. What was the consequence ? A 
Methodist preacher was never afterward within 
his house, or before his door. The little society 
that was there went to other places ; ruin came 
on him, and his family became corrupt, and were 
at last finally scattered ! and he died not long 

Although spiritually Mr. Clarke was pros- 
pering, yet the incessant labour which his cir- 
cuit called for almost wore him down. He was 
exposed to all kinds of weather in his out-door 
preaching ; often addressing congregations two 
or three times on the same day, and preaching 
four times every Sunday in the month but one. 
He also met with an accident on this circuit. 
Being without a horse, a gentleman on the cir- 
cuit said he would give him one ; and among 
other good qualities which he attributed to the 
animal, extolled it as a most excellent chaise- 
horse. Mr. Wesley, who was standing by, re- 
marked that one of his horses was a very un- 
ruly creature in the carriage, but he thought he 
might be a good hack. He suggested an ex- 
change between Mr. C. and himself, which was 
readily agreed to. Mr. Clarke took Mr. Wes- 
ley's horse, and felt proud in being the owner 
of an animal that had belonged to his venerable 
father in the gospel. The horse, however, 
proved to be extremely dangerous. He scarcely 
ever travelled over a journey of ten miles with- 
out falling. The regard Mr. C. had for the 
former owner of the animal would not suffer 



him to take the advice of his friends and sell 
him. One day as he was travelling to fill an 
appointment his horse stumbled and pitched 
him over his head. The concussion deprived 
him of sensation, and he lay in that state for a 
considerable time. He recovered sufficiently 
to reach his appointment, and although enduring 
the severest agony, he yielded to the solicita- 
tions of his congregation, and endeavoured to 
dispense unto them the word of life. He, how- 
ever, did not entirely recover from this accident 
for more than three years. 

While on this circuit he devoted a portion 
of his time to the study of chemistry, and by 
experiments in the laboratory of a friend, re- 
lieved his mind from the intensity of thought 
under which it had laboured. While on St. 
Austell, he became acquainted with Mr. Richard 
Mabyn, of Camelford, with whom he contracted 
a strong friendship, which was broken only by 
the death of that gentleman, which occurred in 

The conference of 1785 was held in London. 
Although an application was made to Mr. Wes- 
ley to reappoint Mr. C. to St. Austell, he saw fit 
in his prudence to assign him Plymouth Dock 
circuit, where a rent had been made in the so- 
ciety by Mr. W. Moore's secession, which car- 
ried away more than fifty of their number. In 
the course of the year the number in society 
was doubled, and many of those who had left 
with Mr. Moore returned. While on this cir- 
cuit he broke the vow which had restrained 



him from classical studies, and was greatly as- 
sisted by James Hore, Esq., of the Royal Navy, 
who lent him Chambers' Encyclopaedia, 2 vols, 
folio. With this work he spent all his spare 
time, and the benefit he derived from it may be 
known from the remark he has often made, 
that "he owed more to Mr. Hore than to 
most men, for the loan of that work. The gift 
of a thousand indiscriminate volumes would not 
have equalled the utility of this loanP He pur- 
chased Leigh's " Critica Sacra," to assist him 
in his Greek and Hebrew studies. He also 
had a copy of Kennicott's edition of the He- 
brew Bible, which was lent him by the author's 
sister. Thus he was enabled to make conside- 
rable progress in recovering the knowledge 
which his four years' neglect of the classics 
had caused him to forget. 

In 1786 his attention was first called to the 
Norman Isles. These islands lie in St. Malo's 
Bay, and became a part of the possessions be- 
longingto the crown of England, with the dutchy 
of Normandy, at the time of the conquest of 
England by William I. Robert Carr Braken- 
bury, Esq., who had long been a member of the 
Methodist society, and resided in the island of 
Jersey, had laboured as a preacher with some 
effect in that part of the work. He requested 
Mr. Wesley to send him an assistant, and Mr. 
Clarke was selected, as having some knowledge 
of the French language. The inhabitants use 
the French language, and are governed by their 
ancient laws. While Mr. C. was labouring 



among these islands, the quiet of his situation 
gave him an opportunity to study, which he did 
not allow to pass unimproved. He found that 
he had almost to begin with the rudiments of 
the classics, on account of his long neglect of 
them. With the assistance of several valuable 
books and friends, however, he was enabled to 
make considerable progress in his studies. 

"A circumstance here deserves to be noticed, 
which to him appeared a particular interference 
of Divine Providence ; of it the reader will 
form his own estimate. Knowing that he could 
not always enjoy the benefit of the Polyglott 
in the public library, he began earnestly to 
wish to have a copy of his own : but three 
pounds per quarter, and his food, which was the 
whole of his income as a preacher, could ill 
supply any sum for the purchase of books. Be- 
lieving that it was the will of God that he 
should cultivate his mind in Biblical know- 
ledge, both on his own account, and that of the 
people to whom he ministered ; and believing 
that to him the original texts were necessary 
for this purpose ; and finding that he could not 
hope to possess money sufficient to make such 
a purchase, he thought that, in the course of 
God's providence, He would furnish him with 
this precious gift. He acquired a strong confi- 
dence that by some means or other he should 
get a Polyglott. One morning, a preacher's 
wife, who lodged in the same family, said, * Mr. 
C., I had a strange dream last night.' 6 What 
was it, Mrs. D. V said he. * Why, I dreamed 



that some person, I know not who, had made 
you a present of a Polyglott Bible.' He an- 
swered, 1 That. I shall get a Polyglott soon, I 
have no doubt, but how, or by whom, I know not/ 

" In the course of a day or two, he received 
a letter containing a bank-note of £10 from a 
person from whom he never expected any thing 
of the kind : he immediately exclaimed, Here 
is the Polyglott ! He laid by the cash, wrote 
to a friend in London, who procured him a 
tolerably good copy of Walton's Polyglott, the 
price exactly £10." 

In 1787, Rev. Mr. Wesley, Dr. Coke, and 
Mr. Bradford visited the islands, and preached 
to the congregations. While in Jersey they 
stayed with Mr. Brakenbury, and while in 
Guernsey they lodged with Henry De Jersey, 
Esq., in whose house Mr. Clarke had remained 
for a year, being treated as kindly as though 
he had been his own child. On Mr. Wesley's 
return to England, Mr. C. accompanied him. 
During their passage they encountered adverse 
winds, and were obliged to tack about. Mr. 
W. immediately went to prayer, and in his own 
peculiarly powerful manner began to suppli- 
cate the Almighty to enable them to reach 
their desired haven. The wind changed, the 
vessel was put into the right course, and the 
breeze remained steadily favourable until they 
anchored safely near St. Michael's Mount, Pen- 
zance Bay. 

Immediately upon Mr. Clarke's arrival in 
England he proceeded to Wiltshire, where 



Miss Mary Cooke, the lady to whom he was 
married in the course of the next year, resided. 
To this marriage there was considerable oppo- 
sition. Some of the lady's friends supposed 
that she would be degraded by an alliance with 
a Methodist preacher. The affections of the two 
persons most intimately concerned were en- 
gaged ; they had been corresponding ever since 
Mr. Clarke had travelled Bradford circuit ; and 
Mr. Wesley, to whom they had made known 
all the circumstances of the case, interposed 
his influence to bring about the marriage. The 
opposition finally died away, and after waiting 
about a year longer, Mr. Clarke and Miss 
Cooke were married in Trowbridge church, 
April 17, 1788 — a union which had the sanc- 
tion of Heaven, and promoted the happiness of 
two persons, whose mutual intelligence and 
piety well fitted them to be companions through 

While in the Norman Isles Mr. C. suffered 
much from persecution, being often assailed by 
mobs, who, at the instigation of Satan, opposed 
him in the holy work in which he was en- 
gaged. On one occasion he nearly perished in 
the snow drifts ; and would have yielded to the 
fatal drowsiness which intense cold always 
produces, had he not been urged on to a place 
of safety by a friend who accompanied him. 

In 1789 he was removed by the conference 
from the Norman Isles, and appointed to Bris- 
tol circuit. His studies and confinement in the 
islands had materially affected his health ; and 



the cough which had adhered to him for seve- 
ral years became so oppressive, that Mr. Wes- 
ley himself was apprehensive of his death. 
He was enabled, however, to go through the 
labours of the circuit, and at the close of the 
year left its spiritual and temporal concerns 
decidedly improved. 

The conference of 1790, which was held in 
Bristol, was the last in which Mr. Wesley pre- 
sided. This year Mr. Clarke was appointed 
to Dublin. There was some difficulty in finding 
a suitable person to fill this appointment. The 
preacher who was sent to that city was consi- 
dered as Mr. Wesley's representative in Ire- 
land, and had charge of all the Irish circuits 
and stations. Mr. Clarke's precarious state of 
health was an objection in Mr. Wesley's mind 
to sending him to Dublin, but finally, with the 
advice of the preachers, he consented, and Mr. 
Clarke had the appointment assigned him. 

While he was in Dublin, an event occurred 
which cast a gloom over all the societies, and 
indeed was felt throughout the kingdom : — that 
occurrence was the death of the Rev. John 
Wesley, the father of Methodism, the apostle 
of modern times. The loss of this dear and 
eminent friend so overwhelmed Mr. Clarke 
with distress, that he was scarcely able to read 
the account of his death. 

When he first arrived at his station, he found 
that they had been erecting a parsonage, but, 
owing to the knavery of the builder, it was not 
yet completed. He was obliged to take tern- 



porary lodgings, but they proved so inconveni- 
ent that he went into the new house as soon as 
possible. The building was not completely 
dry, and the imprudence of occupying it too 
early nearly costhim and his family their lives. 
He was seized with a rheumatic affection of 
the head, and the treatment of the physicians 
not corresponding with the disease, he " was 
brought nearly to the gates of death." He re- 
covered but slowly, and at the next conference 
returned to England. 

In 1791 Mr. Clarke was appointed to Man- 
chester circuit, where his health was in a mea- 
sure restored. This restoration was attributed 
in a great degree to the use of the Buxton 
waters. While in Manchester he formed the 
well known Strangers' Friend Society, which 
has found its way into so many of the cities and 
towns of England, and been the means of doing 
so much good to the bodies and souls of men. 
He was continued on this circuit for two 




Mr. Clarke becomes acquainted with Mr. Hand 

Liverpool — Attacked by ruffians — Moves to London — Com- 
mences his Commentary — His labours — Becomes acquaint- 
ed with Mr. and Mrs. Butterworth — Account of their con- 
version — Dangers to which his manuscript notes of Job 
were exposed — Black letter Bible — Bristol — Death of his 
father — Sturm's Reflections — Difficulty of obtaining books — 
His Bibliographical Dictionary — Account of Polyglott Bibles 
— Liverpool — Philological Society — Medical advice — Death 
of his brother — Manchester — Death of his youngest daugh- 

Thus far the course of Adam Clarke has 
been marked by a burning desire to acquire 
knowledge, and untiring diligence in endea- 
vouring to obtain " the desire of his heart." In 
his studies, we have already remarked that he 
paid some attention to chemistry. That atten- 
tion was not bounded by a mere superficial 
knowledge of the science ; he had even inves- 
tigated some of the more abstruse branches: 
The knowledge thus obtained found its way 
into his sermons ; and one sabbath morning, 
while preaching in one of the Dublin chapels 
from Isaiah i, 25, 26, the remarks he made, in 
order to illustrate the passage, induced a sci- 
entific gentleman present to believe that Mr. 
Clarke had gone deeply into the study of na- 
ture's secrets. This gentleman, whose name 
was Hand, had long been searching after the 
imaginary " philosopher's stone." He obtained 
an introduction to Mr. Clarke ; a friendship 
commenced between them, which they conti- 



nued by correspondence after Mr. Clarke's re- 
moval from Dublin to Manchester. 

In the summer of 1793 the conference ap- 
pointed Mr. Clarke to the Liverpool circuit. 
While on that circuit he came near losing his 
life by the attack of two ruffians, who had way- 
laid him on his return to the city from a vil- 
lage called Aintree. It was his custom always 
to walk home from his appointments, regardless 
of the hour of the night or state of the weather. 
On the present occasion he was accompanied 
by his brother and a friend. As they passed 
by the place where the men were concealed, 
one of them threw a large stone at Mr. Clarke, 
which cut through his hat, and made a deep 
wound in his head. He was immediately car- 
ried to a neighbouring house, and his brother 
left him in the charge of his friend, and hastened 
tp find the men who had committed this out- 
rage. He found them, charged the act upon 
them, and they immediately began to accuse 
each other. He had them apprehended, and 
returned to his brother. The offenders were 
Roman Catholics ; and when the people of the 
house where Mr. Clarke was carried learned 
that he was a Methodist preacher, being them- 
selves of the same church with the men who had 
wounded him, they declared that he was well 
served, and that it was a pity he had not been 
killed. The two friends, when they found how 
matters stood, had him immediately carried to 
his brother's house, and thence to his residence 
in Liverpool. He was laid up for a month from 



this wound ; and the wretched men, whom be 
refused to prosecute from motives of mercy, 
afterward came- to a tragical en-d. 

In 1791 Mr. Clarke's parents removed to 
England, and shortly afterward settled in Man- 
chester. Their son still continued in Liverpool, 
and during the two years of his ministration 
on that circuit had the pleasure of seeing the 
number in society nearly doubled. In 1795 he 
attended the conference held in Manchester, 
and received an appointment to London circuit. 
Immediately upon the close of the conference 
he removed his family from Liverpool to the 
metropolis, and took a house in John-street, 
Spitalflelds, immediately adjoining the chapel. 

In this place, and at this time, he commenced 
writing Notes for his Commentary on the Old 
and New Testaments. He made a critical 
reading of the texts, and literally translated 
every verse from the original, giving the various 
readings, and comparing them with the au- 
thorized version. He devoted himself, also, to 
the study of Oriental languages, that he might 
be the better able to explain the various allu- 
sions to Eastern customs to be found in the 
sacred Scriptures. Here we may, perhaps, 
say that the literary career of Dr. Clarke com- 
menced. He did not, however, permit any 
literary engagement to interfere with his minis- 
terial labours. He walked to all the appoint- 
ments, except one, on this extensive circuit. 
During the three years he was in London, in 
the mere duty of preaching, he walked upward 



of seven thousand miles, being generally- 
accompanied by his friend, John Buttress, Esq. 
The two associates, on account of the dis- 
similarity of their respective sizes, obtained the 
names of Robin Hood and Little John. 

While Mr. Clarke was in London, he first 
became acquainted with his wife's brother-in- 
law, Mr. Joseph Butterworth, who afterward 
was his active coadjutor in all his plans of 
improvement and benevolence. This gentleman 
was the son of Rev. John Butterworth, author 
of the Concordance known by his name. Mr. 
Clarke had married his lady with the know- 
ledge, but without the entire consent of her 
mother ; and this prevented all intercourse with 
the family. When after many years he came 
to reside in London, Mr. Butterworth thought it 
proper that his wife should see her sister. Ac- 
cordingly, Mrs. B. one day called on Mrs. C. 
at the doctor's residence in Spitalfields, who 
at first did not recognise her young sister in the 
fashionable lady who greeted her. But when 
Mrs. B. remarked, " Surely you do not know 
me," Mrs. Clarke immediately recollected the 
once familiar voice. After that both Mr. and 
Mrs. Butterworth called frequently, and, not- 
withstanding their prejudice against Methodism, 
often attended their brother-in-law's preaching. 
One evening, while they were at Mr. Clarke's, 
Mr. B. agreed to walk with him to his appoint- 
ment at Leyton, while his lady remained with 
Mrs. Clarke. On the way the conversation 
between the gentlemen took a religious turn, 



and as they came from the chapel, Mr. Butter- 
worth acknowledged that on the previous sab- 
bath, under the preaching of Mr. C, he had been 
awakened to a sense of his sinful state. Mr. 
Clarke endeavoured to point him to the Lamb 
of God that taketh away the sins of the world. 
When Mrs. Clarke heard of the conversation 
which had passed between her husband and 
brother-in-law she was no less astonished than 
gratified, and informed Mr. C. that her sister 
had come that evening expressly to converse 
on the subject of her soul's salvation, and 
attributed her awakening to the same sermon. 
Both Mr. and Mrs. B. found the pearl of great 
price, joined the Methodist society, and adorned 
their profession to the day of their death. Led 
on by Mr. Clarke, the expansive benevolence 
of Mr. Butter worth found new and more ex- 
tended spheres of influence. 

During 1796 and 1797 Mr. C. continued his 
unremitting attention to his studies. In July of 
the latter year his health became infirm, and 
with a few friends he spent a short time at the 
sea-side. The effect of this tour was the 
strengthening of his frame, and he returned to 
his numerous and arduous duties with renewed 
vigour. One incident will show to what dan- 
gers his literary labours were exposed. Having 
had to officiate in a distant chapel one evening, 
he stopped, with Mrs. Clarke, at a friend's 
house to supper. Having brought his notes on 
the book of Job, he laid the manuscripts on the 
side-board, and, going away, forgot them. Next 



morning, finding that he had lost them, he went 
in search of them, and found that the servant had 
taken them up as loose papers, and folded her 
candle ends in them. When produced, they 
were in a shocking state ; but the author was 
happy in finding them preserved even in that 
state, and declared that if the servant had 
destroyed the notes, he could never, in all pro- 
bability, have rewritten them, and the whole 
Commentary might have thus been abandoned ; 
as the many untoward circumstances under 
which it was completed needed but a few more 
difficulties entirely to suspend it. 

While in London, Mr. Clarke was forming 
the foundation of a library, which, in after days, 
was inferior to few private collections in the 
kingdom. A circumstance is related of his 
bookseller obtaining for him " a black-letter 
Bible," by outbidding a goldbeater who had 
bidden for the book merely for the parchments 
on which it was written. This volume proved 
to be a copy of the earliest English translation 
of the Bible, generally known as the " Wic- 
liff Bible ;" and to have belonged to Thomas 
a Woodstock, youngest son of King Edward 
III. Mr. Clarke soon succeeded in repairing 
those parts of pages which had become mu- 
tilated ; and indeed always exhibited a most 
remarkable neatness in the preservation of his 

In 1798 Mr. Clarke was removed from Lon- 
don to Bristol, and by that removal was obliged 
to sever many pleasant ties, and desert some 



literary vocations. During the autumn of this 
year he met with a great affliction in the loss 
of his father. He was prevented by domestic 
engagements from being at the death-bed of 
his honoured parent, whose speedy dissolution 
seemed to overwhelm his son with grief. He- 
was buried in Ardwicke church-yard, Manches- 
ter. The simple inscription on his tombstone 
is, " Here lieth the body of John Clarke. M. 
A., who departed this life Nov. 2d, 1798. in 
the 62d year of his age." Ever after, when 
his son Adam passed that church-yard, whether 
riding or on foot, he took off his hat and kept 
it off the whole length of the enclosure — an 
affecting example of filial affection, showing 
how much he honoured as well as loved the 
dear deceased who lay there entombed. 

This affliction tended still more to impair 
Mr. Clarke's health, and to its effect were 
added the pressure of the times, and his solici- 
tude on account of the literary labours which 
he had on hand. His only relaxation from the 
severity of his studies was in the company of 
his large family of children. His word was 
the signal for them to gather joyously about 
him, and he would often walk the room with 
one on each arm, one around his waist, and one 
at each knee, rejoicing in the pleasure of thus 
being with their father, who certainly esteemed 
himself the happiest of the group. 

In 1800 he translated and published Sturm's 
Reflections, a work which, on account of the 
useful as well as entertaining matter which it 



contains, has met with, an extensive circula- 

Mr. Clarke had to labour under a disadvan- 
tage which most students have felt, a want of 
books. When he commenced his Notes for 
the Commentary he was at a loss for an Arabic 
Dictionary. There was one work, Meninski's 
Thesaurus, which would supply this deficiency 
if it could be obtained. His bookseller in- 
formed him that one could be had for forty 
pounds sterling. Mr. Clarke immediately wrote 
to an acquaintance informing him of the cir- 
cumstance, and requesting the loan of the sum 
for three months. His friend wrote in reply, 
that considering the serious amount of the sum 
required for the book, and " his little know- 
ledge of the value of money," &c, &c, he must 
refuse to lend him the sum. Here he was at 
■a stand. In his difficulty he applied to his 
friend Mr. Ewer, of Bristol, who lent him the 
money immediately, and expressed the gratifi- 
cation it would afford him to give him assist- 
ance at any time. Thus he procured the Me- 
ninski, which he studied to the close of his 
life, and without which he could not have com- 
pleted his Commentary. 

In his studies he enjoyed the benefit of an 
intimate acquaintance with Charles Fox, Esq., 
of Bristol, a gentleman celebrated for his pro- 
ficiency in Oriental acquirements. In 1802 
Mr. Clarke published " A Bibliographical Dic- 
tionary," in six volumes, which contained a 
chronological account of the most curious and 



valuable works in all departments of literature, 
in most of the ancient and modern languages ; 
to which he added, in 1806, two volumes sup- 
plementary. About the same time he published 
" A Succinct Account of Polyglott Bibles, from 
the publication of that by Porrus, in the year 
1516, to that of Reineccius, in 1750," &c, &c; 
also, " A Succinct Account of the Principal 
Editions of the Greek Testament, from the first 
printed at Complutum, in 1514, to that of Pro- 
fessor Griesbach, in 1737." These works, of 
course, required great research and patient in- 
vestigation ; and for these Mr. Clarke was pre- 
eminently fitted. They tended, too, to prepare 
the way for the completion of his anticipated 

After remaining in Bristol three years, Mr. 
Clarke was removed by the conference of 1801 
to Liverpool. By this appointment he was 
obliged to le-ave many kind friends, and the 
learned Mr. Fox, to whom we have alluded, 
among others. With that gentleman, however, 
he kept up a correspondence after his depart- 
ure. He had been in Liverpool but a few 
months before he projected the formation of a 
society for literary and scientific purposes. 
This association was instituted December 18, 
1801, under the title of " The Philological So- 
ciety and was productive of much improve- 
ment and' scientific investigation. In 1802 Mr. 
Clarke's health began to fail, and he went to 
London in order to obtain advice from the 
faculty there. 



During his absence he wrote to his wife 
thus : — 

" I went this morning with Mr. Butter worth 
to consult Mr. Pearson, who said, ' You must 
totally cease from all mental and bodily exer- 
tion, except such as you may take in culti- 
vating a garden, or riding on horseback. I 
know not whether your disease be not too far 
advanced to be cured. The ventricles of your 
heart are in a state of disease ; and if you do 
not totally and absolutely abstain from reading, 
writing, preaching, &c, you will die speedily, 
and you will die suddenly. Did I not believe 
you to be in such a state of mind as not to be 
hurt at this declaration, I would have suppress- 
ed it, but as matters are, I deem it my duty to 
be thus explicit, and to assure you that if you do 
not wholly abstain, for at least twelve months, 
you are a dead man/ Now, my dear Mary, 
you must not believe all this, but we will talk 
the business over when I see you. If I find I 
cannot do my work I will give it up; I will 
not feed myself to starve the church of God : 
I will seek some other way of maintaining my 
wife and children." God, however, saw fit to 
spare his valuable life many years. 

While in Liverpool he was called upon by 
divine Providence to sustain severe affliction in 
the loss of his only brother, Mr. Tracey Clarke. 
He went from suffering to glory, and left behind 
him the sweet savour of a godly life and an 
unblemished reputation. He died at Maghull, 
near Liverpool, September 16th, 1803. In the 



same year the conference removed Mr. Adam 
Clarke to Manchester. Here he engaged, as 
usual, in his literary and benevolent labours. 
He found the Strangers' Friend Society, which 
he had established in 1791, not only in exist- 
ence, but in active operation. In 1804 he 
published an edition of " Memoirs of the Ancient 
Israelites," translated from the French of i\.bbe 
Fleury, and very much enlarged. He also 
became a contributor to the Eclectic Review, 
which was principally under the management 
of Mr. Samuel Greatheed. In that publication 
were inserted many able articles from his pen 
on various philological subjects. 

For two years his health had been gradually 
improving ; but he was called to experience 
great sorrow in the illness and death of his 
youngest daughter. She is represented to have 
been extremely lovely in person and manners. 
Her amiability was equalled only by her intel- 
ligence, and by the solicitude which she 
expressed lest her illness might cause her to be 
too troublesome to her parents. Whenever her 
cough permitted, she delighted to repeat hymns 
and passages of Scripture which she had 
committed to memory. Her weakness at last 
prevented her from kneeling. This caused her 
a great deal of distress, and bursting into tears, 
she exclaimed, " Mother, I cannot pray !" " Yes, 
my dear, you can," was the parent's reply. 
61 How ? I cannot kneel down." " But without 
kneeling, my dear Agnes, you can lie and think 
your prayers, saying them to yourself ; for God, 



you know, can see your heart, and hear what 
you have not strength to say aloud, as you used 
to do. You often lie and think of your father 
and mother, and talk to them in your mind 
when they are out of the room, do you not V 9 
" Yes, my dear mother." " Then, my Agnes, do 
the same in reference to your prayers. Think 
of God as near you, which he is, and then your 
heart can pray to him as well as if you could 
kneel down and say your prayers at my knee." 
She clasped her hands over her breast, and was 
for some time silent ; then opening her eyes, 
she exclaimed, with strong emotion, " O yes, 
mother, I feel that I can pray." The dear little 
Agnes, in this sweet state, yielded up her re- 
deemed and purified spirit into the hands of 
its Creator, having just completed her fifth 

The unfailing Source of consolation sustained 
Mr. Clarke under these severe dispensations of 
Providence, and he was still enabled to perform 
his ministerial duties and prosecute his literary 
undertakings. In 1805 he published a new 
edition of Claude Fleury's " Manners of the 
Ancient Israelites," which was received by 
the public with the same favour as the first 

Previously to his departure from Manchester, 
the " Philological Society" tendered him a vote 
of thanks for the able manner in which he 
had attended to the duties of president of that 
institution. This expression of the society's 
feelings was accompanied by a present of two 



large silver cups, each holding a pint, and 
beautifully ornamented around the brim with a 
border of oak leaves, and an appropriate in- 


Appointed to London — Presides at the Wesleyan Con- 
ference at Leeds — British and Foreign Bible Society — Visit 
to his first circuit — Receives the degree of A. M. — Confer- 
ence at Liverpool — His plan for the relief of infirm ministers 
— His " Succession of Sacred Literature" — Receives the 
degree of LL. D. 

After remaining in Manchester two years, 
Mr. Clarke was removed by the Wesleyan Con- 
ference to London. Again he was called to 
separate from dear friends and valued literary 
associates. His departure from Manchester, 
and the removal of many of its members to 
London, left the Philological Society in too 
weak a state to protract its existence ; conse- 
quently, in the course of a very few years it was 

The London circuit at that time included 
what is now contained in six circuits, under the 
care of six superintendents. Since Mr. C.'s 
previous station in the metropolis, many new 
chapels had been erected, and the amount of 
labour proportionably increased. With the bur- 
den of this ministerial charge upon his hands, 
Mr. Clarke was obliged to suspend all merely 
literary vocations, in order to attend properly 
to the secular and spiritual interests of the 
societies. He preached twice on the sabbath, 



and two or three times during the week. He 
was now just beginning his public career, and 
entering upon the complicated duties it en- 

In July of 1806 he attended the session of 
the conference at Leeds. Here he was actu- 
ally obliged against his express wish to preside 
over the venerable body of his brethren in the 
ministry. The duties of that station confined 
him a great deal; and the letters which he 
wrote to Mrs. Clarke during his absence fully 
testify that he was conscious of the responsible 
office he held. 

"The British and Foreign Bible Society" 
nominated him a member of its committee ; and 
he was induced to yield to a sense of duty and 
the entreaty of his relative, Mr. Butterworth, 
to engage in this great and benevolent under- 
taking. His extensive Biblical attainments, 
and the proficiency he had made in Oriental 
studies, peculiarly fitted him to be useful in this 
sphere of labour. He entered with spirit into 
the consideration of publishing an Arabic Bible, 
— a question which, at that time, occupied the 
attention of the society's committee. The im- 
portant papers which he from time to time 
furnished exhibit a most accurate familiarity 
with the Arabic language, and great judgment 
and taste in matters of mechanical execution. 
The society were aware of the value of his 
assistance, and testified by their deference to 
his opinions, as well as by the passage of 
formal resolutions, their indebtedness to the 



results of his labours. They, in addition, re* 
quested permission to present him with £50, 
as a testimonial of the value they placed upon 
the services which he rendered them at no 
ordinary sacrifice. This, however, he most 
" respectfully but peremptorily declined to ac- 
cept," expressing himself in the note which 
contained the refusal in the following truly 
philanthropic manner : — 

" God forbid that I should receive any of the 
society's funds : let this money, therefore, re- 
turn to its source ; and if it be the instrument 
of carrying but one additional Bible to any 
place, or family, previously destitute of the 
words of eternal life, how much reason will I 
have to thank God that it nsver became any 
of my property !" 

As soon as the society ascertained that the 
time was approaching when Mr. Clarke would 
be removed from among them, they immediately 
took measures to petition the conference to 
allow them to enjoy his continued co-operation. 
The letter was accordingly written, and pre- 
sented to the conference by the two secretaries 
of the society, Rev. Messrs. Owen and Hughes. 

It may be remarked of the " British and 
Foreign Bible Society," that at that time it was 
far from having reached a state of maturity. 
In its upward course to the height which it at 
present maintains, it has met with much oppo- 
sition and embarrassment. Among its friends 
and assistants, however, it has numbered many 
men of great reputation and attainments ; and 


f. He who bringeth mighty things to pass hath 
gotten himself the victory; and the word of 
the Lord hath had free course ; it hath run, 
and it is glorified." 

In the summer of 1806 Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Butterworth, made an excur- 
sion into Wiltshire to see Mrs. Clarke's mother. 
In this tour Mr. C. had an opportunity of visiting 
his first field of labour, and in one of the letters 
which he wrote to his son Theodoret, he states 
that on the previous sabbath he " preached at 
Bradford to a large and deeply attentive con- 
gregation. This was the first circuit," he adds, 
" I travelled in, and it brought old things to 
the remembrance both of the people and of 
the preacher. In the evening I preached 
again at Trowbridge to an overflowing congre- 
gation : this was the first place I preached in 
as an itinerant preacher ; and I recollect as I 
was passing down the chapel hearing a man 
on that occasion say, as if to himself, * Tut, 
tut, what will Mr. Wesley send us next V I 
was then young and extremely slight and juve- 
nile in my appearance." 

Mr. Clarke was a close observer in his tra- 
vels. The letters he wrote to his family from 
time to time, while on his occasional tours 
through the country, contain much valuable in- 
formation for the antiquarian, and would form 
an agreeable travelling companion through 
those parts of the kingdom over which he 
passed. He returned from the trip just spoken 
of refreshed, and prepared to enter with new 



\ T igour on the round of his usual duties and 

The literary character he had been forming 
now began to bring him into public notice. He 
had formed an acquaintance with the celebrated 
Professor Porson, through whose application 
he received the degree of A. M. from the 
faculty of King's College, Aberdeen. When 
Mr. C. learned that it was his intention to pre- 
sent his name to the faculty, he immediately 
wrote to him, requesting him not to make the 
application, stating that he had such high no- 
tions of literary merit that he thought all col- 
legiate honours ought to come, " not only un- 
bought, but unsolicited." The degree, how- 
ever, was conferred, and he received a note 
containing the information early in February. 

Mr. Clarke for a long time corresponded 
with the celebrated Robert Morrison, who 
went on a mission to China early in the year 
1807. They were friends before the departure 
of that gentleman to Asia ; and the letters he 
received from him after he engaged in the 
work which he espoused were of a most inter- 
esting character. 

In July, 1807, Mr. C. attended the session 
of the conference in Liverpool. At this meet- 
ing he projected a plan for the additional com- 
fort of the aged and infirm ministers, who had > 
borne the burden and the heat of the day, and 
whose untiring devotion to the good of the 
church and the cause of Christ had elicited 
his admiration and won his affection. He pro- 



posed that an asylum should be erected for the 
reception of superannuated preachers and the 
widows of those who had died in the work : 
that its situation should be eligible : that each 
family should have a specified number of con- 
venient apartments : that arrangements be 
made to supply the institution with the " means 
of grace," and the necessaries of life : and 
that these be furnished them perfectly gratis. 
The rules proposed prohibited the admission 
of any one who had not been a regular preacher 
for the space of twenty years, and been de- 
clared superannuated on account of infirmities 
which prevented him from labouring ; and no 
widow was to be admitted who had not been 
the wife of a travelling preacher twenty years, 
who had ceased to travel with him during that 
time, and had not maintained a fair unblemished 

The plan and address was proposed to the 
conference, adopted, entered in their Minutes, 
and published in the Magazine. 

In the month of September, 1807, Mr. C. 
published the first volume of a work, entitled 
" A Concise View of the Succession of Sa- 
cred Literature, in a Chronological Arrange- 
ment of Authors and their Works, from the In- 
vention of Alphabetical Characters to the Year 
of our Lord 345." His numerous engagements 
prevented him from completing this work, but 
in 1831, his son, the Rev. J. B. B. Clarke, A. 
M., brought it to a conclusion, with much time 
and toil, in one large octavo volume. A copy 



of the first volume was presented to his friend 
and admirer, Lord Teignmouth, first president 
of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and 
elicited from his lordship a richly deserved 

In the spring of 1808 Mr. Clarke received 
from Professor Bentley, of King's College, 
Aberdeen, the following communication : — 

"My Dear Sir, — *I have the pleasure to in- 
form you that this day this university has given 
another proof of its estimation of your merit, 
by unanimously voting to you the highest de- 
signation in its gift, that of LL. D. Permit 
me to add my sincere congratulations on the 
occasion, and to wish that you may long live 
to enjoy the rewards and fruits of your useful 
and meritorious labours. 

" You are already as much possessed of the 
degree as it is possible to be, but I shall soon 
have the honour to transmit to you the demon- 
stration of it in the sign manual of all the mem- 
bers of the senatus academicus. 

" With best respects to Mrs. Clarke and 
family, I am, my dear sir, with warmest re- 
gard, yours, James Bentley. 

" To Adam Clarke, LL. D." 

The two diplomas of A. M. and LL. D. were 
sent to Mr. Clarke in the most honourable and 
flattering manner, the college refusing to ac- 
cept even the customary fee given on such 




Connection with Rymer's Foedera — Reluctance to engage 
in the undertaking — Advice of his brethren — The labour— 
The resolution of the committee — Thoughts at the conclu- 
sion of the business — Librarian of the Surry Institution — 
Letter from Dr. Buchanan-— Letter to his daughter— Pros- 
pectus of the London Polyglott — First part of his Comment- 
ary — Letter from the speaker of the House of Commons — ■ 
Miss Mary F. Shepherd. 

We come now to notice Dr. Clarke's con- 
nection with the British government, as editor 
and compiler of " Rymer^s Fczdera" and the 
" Supplement" to that work. The object of 
this work Dr. Clarke left recorded in manu- 
script. Soon after the accession of King Wil- 
liam and Queen Mary, Mr. Harley, afterward 
earl of Oxford, formed a plan to publish at the 
expense of the government all the leagues, 
treaties, alliances, capitulations, and confederacies 
which had at any time been made between the 
crown of England and other kingdoms, princes, 
and states, together with all collateral papers 
illustrating English history. This design he 
communicated to the earl of Halifax, who ap- 
proved the plan, and had Mr. Rymer, then his- 
toriographer royal, appointed to carry it into 
execution. Royal warrants from the king and 
queen were issued, and orders made out to all 
the lords commissioners, &c, requiring them 
to deliver into Mr. Rymer's hands all docu- 
ments that could at all assist him in the accom- 
plishment of his design. The first warrant was 



issued August 20, 1693, and the first volume 
was published eleven years after that date. 
Fourteen volumes appeared previously to Mr. 
Rymer's decease, which took place in 1713, 
and two additional volumes were prepared after 
his death by his assistant, Mr. Sanderson. Mr. 
S. added another volume, with an extensive in- 
dex, and finally brought the whole up to twenty 
folio volumes. The first edition of the Foedera 
was begun in 1704, and completed in 1717. It 
soon became scarce, and a second edition was 
soon published, under the editorial management 
of Mr. George Holmes, keeper of the Tower 
records. Another edition in ten folio volumes 
was issued at the Hague, 1738 or '39. 

This work had remained untouched for seven 
years, when Dr. Clarke was recommended to 
the Rt. Honourable Charles Abbott, speaker of 
the House of Commons, as a fit person to un- 
dertake its completion. John Caley, Esq., secre- 
tary to the commission, w T as appointed to wait 
on Dr. Clarke and make a report at their next 
meeting. He accordingly called on Joseph 
Butterworth, Esq., whom he knew to be related 
to the doctor, and desired an introduction to 
him on the following Thursday. 

Dr. Clarke met Mr. Caley at the appointed 
time, but that gentleman was not at liberty then 
to specify the exact nature of the business in 
which government wished to employ him. He 
was satisfied, however, that arrangements 
might be made to secure the valuable assist- 
ance of his erudition and labour. 


This was in February, 1808. In a few 
days Dr. Clarke received a note from Mr. C, 
desiring him to call at his house. He did so, 
and was then informed that the work was to 
be " A Collection of State Papers of the same 
nature with those in Rymer's Fcedera, for a 
Supplement and Continuation of that Work f 
and that he was desired to draw up an essay 
upon the subject, for his majesty's commission- 
ers. He was surprised at this, and endeavour- 
ed to excuse himself, as his studies had not 
been of such a character as to prepare him for 
the undertaking. The secretary smiled, and 
said, " Mr. Clarke, you will have the goodness 
to try, and in the mean time pray draw up the 
paper which his majesty's commissioners re- 
quire, and I am always ready to give you any 
directions and assistance in my power." 

Dr. C. felt much hesitation in complying 
with this request. Before writing the essay, 
he laid the whole matter before the committee 
of preachers at City Road, asking their advice. 
The opinions they gave on the subject were 
various. Some said, " It will prevent you from 
going on in the work of the ministry ;" others, 
" It is a trick of the devil to prevent your use- 
fulness ;" others, " It may rather be a call of 
Divine Providence to greater usefulness than 
formerly ; and, seeing you compromise nothing 
by it, and may still preach, &c, as usual, accept 
it, in God's name f and others, "If Mr. Wesley 
were alive, he would consider it a call of God to 
you ; and so close in with it, without hesitation." 


Dr. Clarke, having the sanction of many 
of his brethren, and being pressed by the 
commissioners to accept the appointment, could 
not retire, and accordingly drew up the paper 
the committee desired, which received their 
unqualified approbation. He was immediately 
appointed a sub-commissioner, and directed to 
collate the state papers necessary, with autho- 
rity to procure such assistants as were requi- 
site to prosecute the undertaking. 

In addition to what belonged properly to the 
department of the Foedera, he had to arrange 
the papers in other offices, in order to get at 
those to which he was obliged to refer. To do 
any thing effectual, he had to examine sixty 
folio volumes, and " write on a subject on which 
he had never tried his pen, and in circum- 
stances the most unfriendly, as he was em- 
ployed in the quarterly visitation of the classes 
during the whole time ! He thought, he pray- 
ed, he read ; and like John Bunyan ' he pulled, 
and, as he pulled, it came.' " The manner in 
which the essay prepared under the circum- 
stances just narrated was received, as before 
stated, was with the most unqualified approbation. 

The state papers, published in Rymer's 
Foedera, commenced with the reign of Henry L, 
1131, and came down through the first six 
years of the reign of Charles II., A. D. 1666. 
On the recommendation of Dr. Clarke, the com- 
missioners resolved to begin the work with the 
Norman invasion, A. D. 1066, and bring it down 
to the accession of George III., A. D. 1760. 



In farther reference to Dr. Clarke's essay, 
we make an extract from the minutes of the 
board : — - 

" At a board of commissioners appointed by 
his majesty on the public records of the king- 
dom, holden at the house of the right honour- 
able the speaker, on Friday, March 25, 1808 ; 
the secretary reported that Adam Clarke, 
LL.D., having been recommended, on account 
of his extensive learning and indefatigable in- 
dustry, as a fit person to revise and form a sup- 
plement and continuation to Rymer's Foedera, 
had accordingly prepared an ' essay, or report, 
on the best mode of executing such an under- 
taking ; s which report the secretary delivered 
in, and the same being now read, the board, 
approving of the method suggested by Dr. 
Clarke for the execution of the work, ordered 
that the synopsis subjoined to this essay be 
returned to Dr. Clarke, to be filled up as pro- 
posed by him, for the purpose of completing 
the specimen from the conquest to the end of 
King John; and the secretary is desired to 
obtain admission for him to the several public 
officer and libraries which it may be necessary 
for him to consult. 

" Ordered, also, that Dr. Adam Clarke do pre- 
pare a scheme for the first volume of the 
supplement to Rymer, and first volume of 
continuation thereto ; specifying, in the same 
manner as proposed in his synopsis, an enu- 
meration of all the articles, or instruments, 
proposed by him to be inserted therein ; and 


that he do lay the same before the board with 
all convenient despatch. 

" John Caley, Secretary." 

It is unnecessary here to detail the immense 
labour through which Dr. Clarke had to pass, 
during his connection with this governmental 
business. We shall close this part of his 
history with an extract from his own account 
of the feelings with which he concluded the 
engagement :— 

" Here I register my thanks to God, the 
fountain of wisdom and goodness, who has 
enabled me to conduct this most difficult and 
delicate work for ten years, with credit to my- 
self and satisfaction to his majesty's government. 
During that time I have been required to solve 
many difficult questions, and illustrate many 
obscurities ; in none of which have, I ever 
failed, though the subjects were such as were 
by no means familiar to me, having had little of 
an antiquarian, and nothing of a forensic educa- 
tion. I began the work with extreme reluctance, 
and did every thing I could to avoid the em- 
ployment ; but was obliged to yield to the 
wishes of some persons high in power, who 
had in vain, for seven years, endeavoured to 
find some person to undertake the task. * * * 
Many endeavoured to carp at the work, but 
their teeth were broken in their attempt to 
gnaw the file. I hope I may now take leave 
of the work and my conflicts with — 


Hie victor ctestus artemque repono.* 
" To God only wise be glory and dominion, 
by Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen. 

"Adam Clarke. 
" Millbrook, March 30, 1819." 

We have anticipated a considerable portion 
of Dr. Clarke's life, in order to give an unin- 
terrupted account of his connection with the 
commissioners who had the charge of Rymer's 
Fcedera. We now return to him, in 1806, at 
which time he was in charge of London circuit. 
The task of attending to the pastoral duties of 
the many societies in that extensive field of 
labour was added to the other numerous en- 
gagements which divided his attention. In 
1808 he was persuaded by his relative, Joseph 
Butterworth, Esq., and other intimate friends, 
to accept the librarianship of the Surry Insti- 
tution. They urged upon him that, " if he did 
not accept it, the selection of its library would 
fall into the hands of persons less favourable to 
the propagation of true religion, " and as the in- 
stitution was intended to be very extensive, the 
course it took in reference to religion would 
give a tone and character to those who enjoyed 
its advantages. Dr. Clarke's knowledge of 
books fitted him peculiarly for this station. For 
one year only he discharged the duties of the 
librarianship ; after which he relinquished it, 
refusing to accept any remuneration for his 
services. During the year he was in the 
Surry Institution, he published " A Narrative 
* Successful, i my arms and art resign.- Virg.JEnXib. v., 484 v, 


of the last Illness and Death of Richard Por- 
son, A. M., Professor of Greek in the University 
of Cambridge ; with a fac-simile of an ancient 
Greek inscription, which was the chief subject 
of his last literary conversation." It is mournful 
to think that a person of Professor Porson's 
abilities and profound erudition should weaken 
his intellect and hurry himself to a premature 
grave by almost ceaseless dissipation. 

The folio whig letter from Rev. Dr. Buchanan 
shows that Dr. Ckrke was not illiberal of his 
time, nor in his sentiments, in reference to re- 
ligious matters : — 

" Rev. and Very Dear Sir, — A considerable 
time ago I had the pleasure of your valuable 
letter, informing me of what Mr. Brunton had 
written to you respecting the translation of the 
Scriptures into Turkish. As none of the mem- 
bers of our society knew any thing of that 
language, we were happy to find that he had 
written to you ; and the opinion which you 
express of his qualifications for the important 
work in which he is engaged, affords us the 
greatest satisfaction. When I laid your letter 
before the directors, they desired me to assure 
you that they are much gratified by the interest 
which you take in the success of our mission, 
and are deeply sensible of the importance of 
the service which you have rendered it. 

" Owing to the unhappy difference existing 
between this country and Russia, we have had 
no letters from Karass since the month of June. 
Mr. Brunton had been seized with a bad fever 



very soon after he wrote to you, and for some 
time his life was despaired of ; but blessed be 
God, who heard the many prayers put up for 
his recovery, and has spared a life so truly 
valuable. The types and paper had reached 
Sarepta, and I hope have long ere this arrived 
at Karass. I have heard nothing of the second 
parcel which you had the goodness to procure 
for our missionaries ; but I trust that, through 
the favour of Providence, it will reach them in 
safety. With fervent wishes for your health, 
comfort, and success in the various and im- 
portant labours in which you are engaged, I 
remain, with much respect and esteem, reverend 
and dear sir, yours most faithfully, 

" Walter Buchanan. 
"Edinburgh, October 1, 1808." 

While Dr. Clarke's children were at school, 
he wrote to them often and affectionately ; and 
the following letter to his second daughter is a 
specimen of the manner in which he kindly 
encouraged them in their studies : — 

"London, July 4, 1809. 
" £ Will not my dear father write a letter to 
poor Eliza V So I think I heard mother read 
from a letter lately received from Trowbridge, 
to which question I reply, — 

" My Dear Eliza, — I will cheerfully write 
to you such a letter as my circumstances will 
admit, and will assure you that, if I should be 
entirely silent, it would be no proof of my want 


of affection for you, as I love you with as much 
sincerity and warmth as any father should love 
his child. It has often given me great pleasure 
to reflect that, though you are not under our 
eye, you are under that of an affectionate grand- 
mother and aunt, who will supply our lack of 
service : repay their kindness by gratitude and 
obedience : learn all you can, for youth is the 
time, and the time alone, in which learning can 
be attained. I find that I can now remember 
very little but what I learned when I was young. 
I have, it is true, acquired many things since, 
but it has been with great labour and difficulty ; 
and I find I cannot retain them as I can those 
things which I gained in my youth : had I not 
got rudiments and principles in the beginning, 
I certainly should have made but little out in 
life, and it is often now a source of regret to 
me that I did not employ that time as I might 
have done, at least to the extent that my circum- 
stances admitted : but for my comparative non- 
improvement I can make this apology, — my 
opportunities were not of the most favourable 
kind : for I was left to explore my way nearly 
alone, and was never informed how I might 
make the best use of the understanding God 
had given me. I have felt this defect in my 
own education so distressingly that I was de- 
termined my own children should not have to 
complain on the same ground, and therefore we 
have endeavoured to give you and your brothers 
and sisters all the advantages in our power ; 
if you improve them, so as to grow wise and 



good, we will praise God for you, and rejoice 
that, by suffering some privations ourselves, we 
have been enabled to afford you the means of 
obtaining useful knowledge, and the fear and 
love of God. 

44 1 hope to pay you a visit, probably in the 
course of a few days ; I shall rejoice to see 
you both in health, growing in stature, improved 
in your learning, and fearing God : without the 
latter, all the rest are not worth a rush. 

44 With heartiest love to your grandmother, 
and aunts Bishop and Butterworth, and your 
sister, I am, my dear Eliza, your affectionate 
father, Adam Clarke." 

It appears that Dr. Clarke first published his 
44 Prospectus of his intended edition of the Old 
and New Testaments, with Notes," in the year 

Dr. Clarke exerted himself very strenuously 
in order to bring about a new edition of the 
London Polyglott. He even drew up a plan, in 
conjunction with the learned Rev. Josiah Pratt, 
which was proposed to several literary persons, 
and friends of Dr. Clarke, among whom were 
Lord Teignmouth, the Bishop of St. David's, 
Doctor Williams, Professor Shakespeare, and 
Archdeacon Wrangham. The plan was ma- 
turely discussed, and Dr. Clarke had a specimen 
sheet of the work printed, a copy of which 
was sent to each of the 44 lords temporal and 
spiritual," and to the different members of his 
majesty's government. All the noble efforts 



of the most devoted friends of this cause proved 
abortive, and the desirable end of their plans 
was never attained. 

The first part of Dr. Clarke's Commentary 
now made its. appearance. The general pre- 
face of the work was dated London, July 2, 
1810. Of this production we need say nothing 
by way of compliment ; it is known as far as 
the name of Adam Clarke has reached. It will 
ever remain a monument of untiring industry, 
patient investigation, and laborious research, 
and hand down the name of its author to the 
latest posterity as a profound Biblical scholar, 
a discriminating critic, and a divine deeply 
versed in " the mystery of godliness." 

We cannot forbear quoting here a letter from 
his friend, the right honourable speaker of the 
House of Commons, acknowledging the recep- 
tion of a copy of his notes on the book of 

"Kidbrook, Sept. 15, 1810. 

" Sir, — I am obliged to you for the book which 
you have done me the honour of sending to me ; 
and it is without surprise that I receive from 
your hands a work so learned and laborious 
as this appears to be, upon the first view of 
its contents. 

" Although your unwearied exertions in the 
discharge of every duty which you undertake 
would lead me to hope that they may be able 
to accomplish even this great work in addition 
to your other engagements ; yet I cannot but 
be, in some degree, apprehensive that the 



progress of an historical collection of national 
records* will be necessarily retarded by so 
formidable a competitor, whose claims upon 
your time will not be easily satisfied. 

"Most heartily wishing you ail. the blessings 
of health and strength requisite for the prose- 
cution and accomplishment of your various and 
valuable labours, I am, with the sine er est re- 
spect, ever, sir, your faithful servant, 

" Charles Abbott." 

It is needless to multiply testimonials of the 
high regard which the Commentary soon won 
from the great and the learned ; the general 
circulation it has obtained, and the almost uni- 
versal suffrage in its favour, are too well known 
to be referred to. 

It was during the year 1810 that Dr. Clarke 
first became acquainted with the extraordinary 
Miss Mary Freeman Shepherd. This lady, 
although an Englishwoman by birth, was a 
descendant of one of the most powerful fami- 
lies of Italy. It was her lot to enjoy such an 
intellect as is seldom found in man or woman ; 
and to it she added the polish of a most excel- 
lent education. Her acquaintance with lan- 
guages was very great, and she possessed a 
thorough and extensive acquaintance with gene- 
ral literature. Feeling a deep interest in the 
Jews, she applied herself assiduously to the 
study of the Hebrew language, and the history 
of the Jewish nation. She was educated at 

* Rymer's Foedera, with which he was then engaged. 



Rome, and was a strict Roman Catholic. With 
Dr. Clarke she maintained a long and interest- 
ing correspondence, and some of the letters he 
received from her were highly interesting. We 
will give one, as it contains an allusion to an 
occurrence in the family of Charles Wesley : — 

M My Dear Sir, — The bearer is come to me 
as a servant, and, would you believe it, I took 
her because she and her friends are Method- 
ists : she knows no Methodist in town, nor 
even your places of worship. Attached as I 
am to my own people, I would not put hinder- 
ances, but, on the contrary, all lawful further- 
ances in the way of others in their different 
roads, and would have every one follow strictly 
the dictates of his own conscience. I there- 
fore send her to you, as a minister of her own 
persuasion : she appears to me to want a guide, 
and to meet with Christian associates ; other- 
wise she will go backward instead of forward, 
and perhaps ultimately be laughed out of all 

" I should be glad if you would return me 
my 1 William and Jesse :' 'Bartholomew Fair 
i Poems on Religion :' ' Prose Essay on the 
Privileges of Women :' on the 1 Law of Mo- 
ses :' ' On Education, both of Males and Fe- 
males :' and other fragments ; and my 1 Jews' 
Catechism,' which is worth all I ever did or 
can write. I return you the Rev. Mr. Creigh- 
ton's Letters, &c, &c, and am not in the least 
offended at, but rather edified with his delicacy 


and tenderness, in fearing to give a poor Ro- 
man Catholic pain at his condemning what I 
condemn as heartily as he doth — the inquisition^ 
and all cruelty and persecution, nay, all cunning 
arts to make converts. I practise, as you see, a 
very different system : perhaps I may swindle 
away this poor Sarah Bos well from your chapels 
to ours ; but I send her to Dr. A. Clarke, not to 
Bishop Douglass. And here I cannot help dis- 
culpating myself from the general belief spread 
among Mr. Wesley's people, of my having 
made young Samuel Wesley a Papist : he was 
made one two full years before I ever saw his 
face : I had not the smallest share in making 
him a Catholic : a Frenchman, who went to 
his father's house, was his converter: I heard 
of it only by accident from a Mr. Payton, a 
famous performer on the viol de gamba, and I 
persuaded Samuel Wesley not to live in crimi- 
nal hypocrisy and deception, but to tell his 
father honestly the fact, lest he should hear of 
it from others : he had not the courage to do 
this, but begged me to break it to his father. I 
said it would be indecorous, and not treating 
him with the respect and regard due to a cler- 
gyman, a gentleman, and a parent : but that the 
late dutchess of Norfolk, whose own feelings 
had sustained a similar trial, — a son quitting 
the religion of his ancestors, — would best sym- 
pathize in tenderness of feeling with Mr. 
Charles Wesley, and announce to him, in all 
the delicacy of Christian charity, his son's 
change of religion : besides these reasons, I 



wished to show Mr. C. W. all possible honour : 
the dutchess went in person, and showed him 
all respect and regard. So far, and no farther, 
was I concerned ; and afterward, in endeavour- 
ing to persuade this two years' old convert to 
live soberly, temperately, and piously ; for this, 
and only this,. I have done ample penance : for 
it is my peculiar vocation, not by choice, but 
per force, to be a very Issachar, crouching 
down under heavy burdens of ingratitude, and 
scourged with defamation into the bargain. If 
I did not look to the remuneration of future re- 
wards, as Moses did, I should sink under, not 
the reproach of Israel, but the reproach of 
Egypt. All this is necessary medicine, or God 
would not give it, to save me from hankering 
after the flesh-pots of Egypt, its garlic, and its 
onions. I remain, dear sir, yours, 

" M. Freeman Shepherd." 


Visits Ireland — Familiar scenes — Death of his mother- 
Opinions respecting his Commentary — His remarks on the 
temptation of Eve — Facetious verses — Visits Cambridge — 
Elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries — Missionary 
sermon — Letter from the British and Foreign Bible Society 
— Retires to the country — Agricultural pursuits — Attention 
to poor sailors — Letter from R. Perceval. 

In the month of May, 1811, Dr. Clarke, ac- 
companied by Mr. Butterworth and his eldest 
son, paid a visit to his native country. Passing 


over the part of his diary which contains re- 
\ marks on the various places of note which they 
Ij passed, in their route, we come to his jour- 
;< nal of 

June 13. " We proceeded," says he, " to 
Maghera, and on the way I stopped at a place 
where I had passed my youth. This I found 
exceedingly interesting. I walked into the 
house where I had passed several years of my 
' infancy, and felt a number of indescribable 
emotions. The present inhabitant was a daugh- 
ter of one of our old neighbours ; but half of 
the nice house is fallen down, w r hich I regret- 
ted. I went into the grounds where I had often 
sported, read, talked, searched for birds' nests, 
and caught jack sharps, &c. What a tran- 
sition from five years to almost fifty ! and how 
difficult to connect the habits of these two dis- 
tant periods ! and for the gray-headed man to 
realize his present feelings with what pleased 
him when a child ! 

ff I came to Maghera, and went to see the 
place where I first went to school. The sight 
of this spot brought many long past scenes to 
remembrance. * * * * 
After contemplating different parts of this town, 
formerly well known to me, and inquiring after 
its ancient inhabitants, most of whom I found 
had ceased to live among men, I returned to 
the inn, dined, and not being able to procure a 
chaise, my companions agreed to walk to Gar- 
vagh, a journey of about ten English miles : we 
accordingly set out, and had an interesting and 



pleasant walk over roads I had assisted to form 
between thirty and forty years ago." 

On the next day they visited the place where 
the doctor received the principal part of the 
little education with which his earlier days 
were favoured. He called on a schoolmate 
whom he had not seen for forty years, but still 
retained a perfect recollection of him. The 
village in which he had lived was entirely 
gone, and of a spire which was seventy-five 
feet high not one inch remained. 

" June 17. We set off for Coleraine, and on 
arriving there, were received with every de- 
monstration of joy by the friends : here I am 
with a people among whom I received my first 
religious impressions : I have hurried all over 
the town ; it is the neatest and cleanest in all 
the north of Ireland. I found my recollection 
of it perfectly correct ; and the whole town 
appeared to me in a few minutes as familiar as 
if I had been only a week absent : one idea 
gave rise to another ; and by association, link 
after link, became distinct and clear. I went 
to Ballyaherton, where my father had resided 
for years, and where I first heard the Method- 
ists, and where I was brought to the knowledge 
of God. 

" Coming to a house, now in a state of dilapi- 
dation, I asked permission of the good woman 
I met at the door to walk in. She said, 1 It is 
too mean a place for such a gentleman as you 
to enter.' ' Good woman/ said I, ' do not say 
so ; I have spent several years in this very 



house !' She wondered at the intelligence. I 
gave a piece of silver to each of her children, 
and then took my leave, to call on an old school- 
fellow, Captain O'Neill." 

While on these tours of recreation, Dr. 
Clarke proved himself a zealous minister by 
the frequency of his preaching. His heart's 
desire was, to see sinners coming to that God 
who is still the Friend of sinners, and will be 
found of all those that seek him. 

On his return from this trip to Ireland, he 
found that death had entered the family circle, 
and deprived him of his beloved mother. Be- 
fore leaving England he called on her at Bris- 
tol, and though very infirm, she retained full 
possession of her faculties, and spoke with 
cheerfulness on the subject of death. The 
melancholy event of her dissolution occurred 
so immediately before his arrival that he had 
no knowledge of the bereavement he had sus- 
tained until he entered the house. The feel- 
ings which agitated his bosom when he learned 
that she who had watched over his infancy, 
guided his youth, and comforted his manhood, 
had gone down to the grave, in his absence, can 
be better imagined than described. He passed 
immediately to his closet, and there, in the seclu- 
sion of its privacy, communed with God and his 
own soul. "The^heartknowethitsown bitterness, 
and a stranger intermeddleth not with its joy." 

We have seen that Dr. Clarke had com- 
menced the publication of his Commentary. 
To this work he still devoted his attention ; and 


the manner in which he investigated every 
subject that came up in the prosecution of this 
very laborious undertaking may be learned 
from the following anecdote : — A clergyman, 
once calling upon the Rev. Ely Bates, saw the 
first part of the doctor's Commentary lying upon 
the table. He opened it, and happened to turn 
to the part where the author endeavoured to 
prove by calculation that the ark of Noah was 
not only sufficiently large to contain all the 
animals mentioned, but also sufficient to supply 
their wants during their sojourn on the waters. 
When he had finished reading the criticism, he 
closed the book, exclaiming, " Thank God, I 
never found these difficulties in the sacred 
record." Mr. Bates replied, " Yes, sir, you 
have found them as well as Dr. Clarke ; but 
the difference is, you always leaped over them, 
but he goes through them." 

The very first part of his work gave rise to a 
great deal of criticism. Relative to the creature 
which tempted Eve, which in the original is 
named nachash, Dr. Clarke states as probable, 
that it was not a serpent, nor any kind of ser- 
pentine genus, but rather a creature of the ape 
kind. He states his reasons at large in support 
of this criticism, and modestly adds, " If any 
person should choose to differ from the opinion 
stated above, he is at perfect liberty to do so : I 
make it no article of faith, nor of Christian com- 
munion: I crave the same liberty to judge for 
myself that I give to others — to which every man 
has an indisputable right ; and I hope that no man 



will call me a heretic for departing, in this re- 
spect, from the common opinion, which appears 
to me to be so embarrassed as to be altogether 
unintelligible. " 

Notwithstanding this generous concession, the 
whole army of pseudo-critics and pamphleteers 
attacked the work with almost unparalleled 
fierceness; and prophets were not wanting to 
predict for the Commentary a languid existence, 
or a premature death. But it was made of 
"stuff" too "stem" to yield to such weak efforts. 

Others, however, admired and adopted the 
hypothesis : and some used even banter, an 
anonymous example of which appeared in one 
of the public papers. It is supposed to be the 
production of one of Dr. Clarke's friends, the 
Rev. Richard Reece, known to many in this 
country as one of the delegates from the Bri- 
tish Conference to the General Conference of 
the Methodist. Episcopal Church in this country. 


The Rev. Dr. Adam Clarke assarts, 

It eoukl not be a serpent tempted Eve, 
But a gay monkey, whose fine mimic arts 

And fopperies were most likely to deceive. 
Dogmatic commentators still hold out, 

A serpent, not a monkey, tempted madam ; 
And which shall we believe ? Without a doubt 

None knows so well who tempted Eve as Adam. 
Lake of Letter- Kenny. R. R« 

Thus annoyed by the attacks of critics, 
and cheered by the encouragement of friends, 
and the commendations of the great, Dr.. Clarke 
pursued " the .even tenor of his way," labouring 


assiduously at the Fcedera and the Comment- 
ary. At the commencement of the year 1812 
he had completed the Pentateuch and the book 
of Joshua. He was often interrupted in the 
regularity of his pursuits by having to make 
visits to distant places, in order to consult pa- 
pers and documents relative to the work he 
was editing for the government. We find him 
in April of 1812 visiting Cambridge, examining 
the university library, and the libraries of 
Corpus Christi and Magdalene Colleges, prin- 
cipally with reference to the Fcedera. He 
was, also, engaged here in collating the MS. 
of an old poem, called " King Hart," by Gawin 
Douglas, for his friend Lord Glenbervie. This 
was a work of no small magnitude, and Dr. C. 
received the sincere thanks of the noble lord, 
who was a descendant of the author of King Hart. 

In June and July he made a second visit to 
Ireland, returning from which he proceeded to 
Oxford to examine the Bodleian Libraries* We 
make an extract from his diary of 

" August 6. — I went to my examinations, and 
afterward, by Mr. Gaisford's invitation, dined in 
ball at Christ's College. After dinner I spent two- 
hours very agreeably with him in the common- 

In addition to this, " it was no small 
gratification to a Methodist preacher to dine r 
and to sit on the same seat, and eat at the 
same table where Charles Wesley, student of 
this college, often sat and dined ; and where 
that glorious work, by the instrumentality 



of which some millions of souls have been 
saved, had its commencement, in conjunction 
with Mr. John Wesley, of Lincoln College. 
O ! what hath God wrought since 1737 !" 

On the 5th of March, 1813, Dr. Clarke was 
elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. 
This was gratifying to him, as it suited his 
taste, and because it came to him unsought, as 
indeed did all the honours which were ever 
bestowed upon him. In July of this year he 
completed another part of his Commentary. 

In 1814 Dr. Clarke published a work called 
" A Short Account of the Introduction of the 
Gospel into the British Isles, and the Obliga- 
tion of Britons to make known its Salvation to 
every Nation of the Earth ; in an Address de- 
livered in the Chapel, City Road, London/Dee. 
1, 1814, at the Formation of a Missionary So- 
ciety among the People called Methodists, in 
that City," &c. In the same year he became 
acquainted with Hugh Stewart Boyd, Esq., a 
celebrated Greek scholar. An essay on the 
Greek article by this gentleman is inserted at 
the end of Dr. Clarke's commentary on the 
Ephesians, and a postscript to this essay, by 
the same author, at the conclusion of Titus. 

The infirm state of Dr. Clarke's health 
obliged him to seek a retreat from the accumu- 
lating duties of a city life. Accordingly on the 
20th of September, 181 5, he removed his family 
to Millbrook, an estate he had purchased a few 
miles from the city of Liverpool. He was urged 
by the different religious and benevolent socie* 


ties with which he was connected in the me- 
tropolis still to remain and continue his labour 
among them. The following letter from Rev. 
John Owen, secretary of the British and Fo- 
reign Bible Society, will show how that society 
valued his services. It is dated 

" Fulkam, April 22, 1815. 

"My Dear Sir, — I am instructed by the 
committee of the British and Foreign Bible So- 
ciety to express their deep concern at the 
intimation you threw out on Monday last ; an 
intimation too strongly corroborative of the 
general report of your intention to retire from 
the metropolis, and thereby to withdraw from 
the society the continuance of those services 
which you have hitherto rendered them in ad- 
ministering the affairs of the institution. On 
the extent and value of those services it would 
be superfluous to expatiate or insist ; they are 
of a nature so distinct from any which others 
among us have performed, that you cannot be 
insensible of their great utility, however your 
modesty may restrain you from allowing them 
the estimation they deserve. 

" But permit me, my dear sir, to observe, 
that the case which I am instructed to urge 
upon your consideration is one wherein your 
personal humility, the greatest, indeed, and 
most honourable of endowments, must be sub- 
ordinated to a just appreciation of those literary 
acquirements which fit you so eminently for 
the service of God, in promoting the correct 
publication of his word. 



f I need scarcely acquaint you that there is 
a department in the business of our committee 
which no one but yourself is competent to direct. 
In that department we can work with you, or 
rather under you ; but we can do nothing with- 
out you. Reflect on the Arabic, the Ethiopic, 
the Abyssinian, and the Syriac ; in all which 
languages we stand pledged to the world for 
something that has not yet been executed ; and 
then ask your own heart what you think we 
shall be able to accomplish in either, if you 
should resolve to abandon us. I say nothing 
of the assistance which we have been in the 
habit of receiving in all our transactions, both 
literary and mechanical, from your general 
knowledge of business, and particularly with 
your extensive acquaintance with the practical 
details of typography. 

"A slight examination of the minutes of our 
printing and miscellaneous committees would 
show how much the ordinary concerns of the 
society have profited by your exertions, and 
how ill we can afford to spare you from the 
lowest department of its service. 

" I am aware I am using a liberty for which 
I ought to apologize. It is not, I know, for 
the British and Foreign Bible Society to inter- 
fere with those arrangements which you may 
judge it expedient to make in disposing of your- 
self and family ; but having witnessed and 
participated their regret on the occasion to 
which I have referred, and been charged with 
expressing it in terms as strong as decorum 


would allow, I have felt it my duty to speak in 
such a manner as to leave no doubt on your 
mind how great importance the committee at- 
tach to your continuance among us, and with 
how much pain they contemplate the possibility 
of your removal. I am, my dear sir, yours very 
faithfully, John Owex, 

" Sec. to Brit, and For. Bible Society." 

To this highly complimentary letter, Dr. 
Clarke replied ; informing the society that, al- 
though he still felt the same strong attachment 
to the cause in which they were engaged as 
ever he did, yet circumstances called for a 
removal of his family from the metropolis, and 
to these calls he must yield : he left with them 
the best wishes for their success, and a pro- 
mise to remember them at a throne of grace. 

After a long residence in the metropolis, Dr. 
Clarke rejoiced to be removed from its innu- 
merable cares to the calm and quiet of retire- 
ment. The good effect of this step was soon 
seen in the decided improvement of his health. 

At the request of the Methodist society at 
Manchester, he was appointed by the Wesleyan 
conference to that place, where he preached 
once a month, and filled up the other sabbath 
mornings by preaching in Liverpool, or at some 
of the nearer appointments. The most of his 
neighbours were Roman Catholics, and the 
Methodist chapels were two or three miles 
from his house, a distance too far for his family 
to attend. He consequently erected a chapel 



on his own estate, which was embraced in the 
plan of the preachers who travelled that circuit. 
The congregation at first was very small, con- 
sisting of a few Protestant colliers and their 
children, the village school-mistress, shoe- 
maker, and blacksmith, and Dr. Clarke's family. 

Every hour that could be spared from his stu- 
dies he spent in cultivating his garden, and in agri- 
cultural pursuits. The results of many of his ob- 
servations in these pursuits have been embodied 
in his notes on the New Testament. In this em- 
ployment he found sufficient amusement ; and 
busied himself in making improvements on his 
estate, exhibiting the neatness which charac- 
terized his actions in all that he undertook. 

To the poor of his neighbourhood he was 
peculiarly attentive, supplying them with Bibles 
and Testaments, and regarding their spiritual 
wants by the establishment of a Sunday school, 
in which the members of his family were prin- 
cipally engaged. 

The commencement of 1816 was peculiarly 
severe ; and many hundreds of sailors, without 
means of support, were thrown upon the be- 
nevolence of the inhabitants of Liverpool. Dr. 
Clarke, on hearing the affecting tale of their 
distress, prepared some of his untenanted cot- 
tages, and in these put a quantity of straw and 
blankets, and had twenty of the poor fellows 
brought down from Liverpool to Millbrook. 
They were employed during the day in making 
a road to his house, and assembled at regular 
hours to their meals in the kitchen. Here they 



had all that was necessary to make them com- 
fortable. The doctor endeavoured to dissuade 
them from the use of tobacco, but they pleaded 
with such humorous eloquence, that he had to 
yield to their earnest entreaties. One of them 
replied to his expostulations, " Indeed, sir, I 
cannot give it up ; if you had been in the four 
quarters of the globe as I have been, in storms 
and tempests, in heat and cold, in hunger and 
thirst, and often in battle, you would have 
known the comfort, as well as myself, of having 
such a companion." To this argument the doc- 
tor could furnish no reply. 

In return for a copy of his sermon on " Sal- 
vation by Faith," published about this time, he 
received a letter from his friend, Dr. Perceval, 
whose lectures he had attended in Dublin Me- 
dical College, and to whose professional skill 
he was indebted, during a severe illness, while 
stationed in that city. It is dated 

" Kildare Place, Dublin, July 8, 1816. 
" My Dear Sir, — Looking back over a pe- 
riod of many years, when our friendship first 
commenced, I cannot but admire the mighty 
working of Providence, who, from a spark, 
which I then conceived was ready to be extin- 
guished on this earth, has now raised to him- 
self such a burning and shining light : little did 
I think that a frame so enfeebled, so afflicted, 
could be fitted to encounter such labours as it 
has since endured : but animated by that truth 
which not only presented itself to your sight, 



(you remember the Greek inscription on your 
window — ' God is love,') you were enabled, by 
having it constantly infixed in your mind, to sub- 
mit with filial confidence to the chastisement 
of your heavenly Father, and he has in due 
time exalted you. May you go on from strength 
to strength, until you shall appear before the 
God of gods in the heavenly Zion. 

" Yours, with sincere respect and affection, 
" Robert Perceval." 


Visits his native country — Attention to animals — Acci- 
dent in repairing his house — Elected member of the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society— Takes two Budhist high priests 

under his charge — Their appearance and disposition 

Astonished at snow— Their disinterestedness — Dr. Clarke 
makes another " preaching expedition"— Accident at St. 
Austell's— Baptizes the two priests— They return to Ceylon 
—Dr. Clarke visits Ireland again— Family festival — Elected 
a member of the Royal Irish Academy — Visits Epworth — 
Family meeting. 

In June of 1816 Dr. Clarke made a tour 
through a part of Scotland and Ireland, and 
thus had another opportunity of visiting the 
place of his nativity, and spots that were fami- 
liar to his childhood. In his journal he says, 
" At a little village called Burnside I visited 
the old barn, where, for the first time, I heard 
a Methodist preacher ; the house in which my 
father had for several years resided ; and the 


field where, after earnestly wrestling with God 
for mercy, I found his peace, after having en- 
dured a great fight of affliction, and sore dis- 
tress of soul. These places are all interesting 
to me, and in making this record, I am in some 
measure recording the mercy and loving-kind- 
ness of the Lord to myself : I visited the house 
of a Mr. Patterson, a family who had, in my 
childhood, showed me paternal affection ; but 
all, except one member of the family, are dead, 
and the house itself is in comparative desola- 

" June 29. — We left Coleraine, and proceed- 
ed to Garvagk, where, having bespoken dinner, 
we went to a place called Grove : and leaving 
our chaise on the side of the road, we ran 
across the fields to a place where I had lived 
from my tenth year. The house is partly fallen 
down, and the rest is in a most miserable state. 
* * * I proceeded to see the school 
where I had my classical education. Formerly 
it was situated on the skirt of a wood, and com- 
manded a fine prospect of the neighbouring 
fields ; and the boys who could be trusted 
were permitted in the summer to go out among 
the trees to learn their lessons. In this wood 
I read the Pastorals and Georgics of Virgil ; 
and had almost every scene of these inimitable 
poems exhibited to my view from this spot.) 
But what a change is now here ! the beautiful 
wood is entirely cut down ; not even the bram- 
bles are left ; sheep, goats, and larger cattle, 
no longer browse on the neighbouring hill ; and 



the fields are rudely cultivated, and the school- 
house is itself become the habitation of two 
poor families. 

" While thus going over the scenes of my 
boyhood, and observing the ravages time had 
made among persons and things, my mind was 
alternately affected with pleasing sensations 
and melancholy gloom ; but as the objects 
which produced the agreeable emotions were 
all either gone or essentially changed, the me- 
lancholy predominated, and at last became the 
sole feeling. On the whole I received little 
pleasure from this visit, and returned to Gar- 
vagh; and having dined, set off for Maghera, 
and stopped there to visit the places of my 
earliest infancy, and where I learned my alpha- 
bet. Now persons, houses, trees, enclosures, 
&c, are running rapidly to decay ! I witness- 
ed several things here which tended to deepen 
the gloom which the former objects diffused." 

The doctor reached home early in July, and 
a letter to one of his sons in London, written 
immediately upon his arrival, after stating the 
health of the family, proceeded to notice the 
animals in the field, which he said he had lost 
no time in going to see. " I found," he adds, 
" the donkey lame, and her son looking much 
like a philosopher ; it was strange that even 
the bullock, whom we call Pat, came to me in 
the field and held out his most honest face for 
ine to stroke it. The next time I went to him 
he came running up, and actually placed his 
two fore-feet upon my shoulders with all the 



affection of a spaniel: but it was a load of 
kindness I could ill bear, for the animal is 
nearly three years old : I soon got his feet dis- 
placed. Strange and uncouth as this manifest- 
ation of affectionate gratitude was, yet with it 
the master and his steer Pat were equally well 
pleased : so here is a literal comment on 8 the 
ox knoweth his owner,' and you see I am in 
league with even the beasts of the field." 

Early in the spring of 1817 an almost fatal 
accident occurred while Dr. Clarke was having 
some alterations made in his house. The work- 
men engaged, while removing some part of the 
under building, failed to supply suitable props, 
and the breakfast room, which by this means 
was left unsupported, gave way, and was sepa- 
rated from the other part of the building. The 
drawing room and dining room were also much 
injured. It was with difficulty that the family 
escaped uninjured, and while the breakfast 
room was almost suspended in the air, they 
were not permitted to endeavour to rescue any 
of the furniture, lest the movement should 
cause still farther injury. The doctor's presence 
of mind prevented a great deal of harm, which 
the fear of the workmen would have suffered 
to occur, and all the members of the family 
escaped uninjured. 

On the third of October of this year Dr. 
Clarke was elected member of the American 
Antiquarian Society. 

In May of 1818 Dr. Clarke went to London, 
to preach two of the annual sermons in aid of the 



funds of the Wesleyan foreign missions. While 
on the platform at one of these meetings he 
received a note from Sir Alexander Johnstone, 
then just arrived from the island of Ceylon, 
requesting an immediate interview. They met 
on the following day, and Sir Alexander in- 
formed him that he had brought along with- 
him two high priests of Budhoo, who had left 
their country and endured many privations in 
order to learn the truths of Christianity. What 
a reproof to us who have those truths, but are 
so shamefully neglectful in cultivating a more 
intimate acquaintance with them ! 

On the tenth of May Dr. Clarke first saw 
these two young heathen priests. One of them 
was named Munhi Ratliana Teerunanxi. He 
was twenty-seven years old, and had been a 
high priest eight years. Dherma Rama was 
twenty-five years old, and had been six or 
seven years in the priesthood. They were 
about five feet and a half high, and quite black. 
They had very regular features, and fine, intel- 
lectual countenances, and were clothed in the 
usual dress of their native land — a tunic of 
brocade, with gold and silver flowers ; a sash 
around their waist, and over all a yellow gar- 
ment. Their appearance was quite prepossess- 
ing, and Dr. Clarke soon began to take a deep 
interest in them. 

The Missionary Society put them under his 
care, to be instructed in the doctrines of Chris- 
tianity and the principles of science ; and with 
them he started for Milibrook. This was a great 



and laborious undertaking. Here were two 
youths, almost, wholly unacquainted with the 
English language, and perfectly ignorant of 
even the elements of science and the spirit of 
Christianity. The deep-rooted prejudices of 
education were to be eradicated ; the innume- 
rable questions which are suggested to an in- 
quisitive mind, just opening a new book of 
knowledge, were to be answered ; and amid the 
confusion necessarily caused by the number of 
subjects thus suddenly presented, their minds 
were to be directed successfully to the consi- 
deration of those which would be most useful 
to them. 

Among many things that arrested their atten- 
tion, and fixed their interest, were frost and 
snow. They believed that all they had heard 
respecting them were but merely efforts to affect 
their credulity ; and when they were assured 
that they would be able to walk on the large 
fish pond before the house, they earnestly de- 
sired the time to come when they should see 
all these things for themselves. The first snow 
of that winter fell in the night, and in great 
abundance. Their window looked out upon the 
garden, and when they arose in the morning, 
and beheld the " wide white world before 
them," their surprise amounted almost to a sen- 
sation of fear. They ran in to Dr. Clarke, and 
he accompanied them to the garden, where 
they were permitted to handle this wonderful 
substance. Their surprise soon yielded to 
pleasure, and it was difficult to prevent them 



from exposing themselves to the severity of the 
weather. Not long after this the fish pond be- 
came frozen, and they saw what they had long 
desired to behold, " solid water." They at first 
feared to venture on its surface, but after Dr. 
Clarke went to the middle of it, and all the 
rest of the family, the females not excepted, 
they mustered sufficient courage to go on it 
themselves. When Dr. Clarke's nephew put 
on his skates, and " began to pass over its sur- 
face with a motion^ like that of flying, their 
doubt gave way to that of ecstasy, and they too 
walked on the solid water, with no less delight 
than amazement." 

In April of 181& the elder of the two Sing- 
halese priests had translated into that language, 
at the request of Sir Alexander Johnstone, a 
piece of poetry written by Miss Hannah More. 

A circumstance is related of the priests, 
which shows how perfectly disinterested they 
were. The director of a great plate glass 
manufactory sent them, as a present, two fine 
plates for toilet glasses. They admired the 
silvering and the workmanship, but took no 
farther interest in them. When Dr. Clarke 
urged upon them the kindness of the gentleman 
who sent them, they were silent and somewhat 
pensive. At length one of them spoke and 
said, "We are obliged to Mr. S., but we will 
not have them. We came to England without 
money, without goods, without clothes, except 
our priests' garments ; we will take nothing 
back with us, but one coat apiece, the gospel 



of Jesus Christ, and the books you have pro- 
mised us. No, if God give it, [that is, God 
being their helper,] we will take no presents : 
and carry nothing from England, save that 
which covers us, your Bible, and the gospel 
of Jesus Christ." No explanations would satisfy 
them ; they refused to receive the plates : and 
on the principle of a disinterested desire to 
have nothing but Christ, they persisted in their 

At the close of 1819 we find Dr. Clarke on 
another of his " preaching expeditions," the 
object of which was to gratify his old friend, 
Mr. Mabyn, of Camelford. A part of one of 
his letters was written from the last projecting 
point of rock at Land's End, with nothing but 
waves between him and the American conti- 
nent. It was at this place that Mr. Charles 
Wesley is supposed to have written the lines, 

" Lo, on a narrow neck of land, 
? Twixt two unbounded seas I stand," &c. 

This promontory stands two hundred feet 
from the surface of the water ; and the raging 
waves of the British Channel to the left, and 
the billows of the Atlantic Ocean in front, seem 
to unite to overthrow it. The sign of the inn 
in the little village near this place has on the 
side toward the Land's End these words, "The 
first inn in England," and on the other side, 
" The last inn in England ;"— the " first" as 
you approach, and the " last" as you retire. 

At St. Austell's, where he preached October 



22d, the crowd was immense, and just as he 
announced his text the gallery gave way ; the 
timbers came out, yet it did not fall, but the 
confusion was awful. If it had fallen, the doctor 
would have been one of the first victims. He 
stood, however, and preached after the galleries 
had been cleared. By what a slight tenure do 
we hold our earthly existence, and how small 
a breeze could break the thread that binds our 
souls to earth 1 

In the early part of the year 1820 the Bud- 
hist priests urged Dr. Clarke to admit them into 
the Christian church by baptism, which they 
had so long and so earnestly desired. He had 
hesitated in taking this step, that they might 
have a full probation, and show what manner 
of spirit they were of. Previously to adminis- 
tering this solemn ordinance, he conversed with 
them seriously on the nature of the vows they 
were about to make, and " commending them, 
body, soul, and spirit, to the Searcher of hearts, 
on Sunday, March 12, 1820, after having 
preached at the large Brunswick chapel in 
Liverpool, in the presence of hundreds of 
deeply interested and attentive persons, he 
solemnly baptized them in the name of the 
ever-blessed Trinity." 

Shortly after this it was resolved that the 
priests should accompany Sir Richard Ottley, 
(who had been appointed as judge of their na- 
tive country) to Ceylon. The pain which they 
felt in leaving Millbrook, and the family, to 
which they had become strongly attached, was 



manifest by tlieir weeping, and deploring the 
occasion which called for their separation. 
They went all over the house, visited their 
favourite walks, and the spots they were wont 
to frequent. After Dr. Clarke had earnestly com- 
mended them to the protection of the Lord, 
they covered their faces with their hands, and 
in inexpressible grief entered the chaise which 
was to carry themselves and Dr. and Mrs. 
Clarke to the London coach. They received 
from their friend the following testimonial 

Copy of a Letter from Dr. Clarke to Joseph 
Butter-worth, Esq. 

" My Dear Sir, — I think I can most safely 
give the following certificate to the Singhalese 
in question : — 


" Adam Sree Goona Munhi Rat'hana, for- 
merly a Teerunanxie, or high priest of Budhoo, 
in the temple of Doodhandhuve, near Galle, in 
the island of Ceylon, was on the seventh May, 
1818, with his cousin, Alexander Dherma Ra- 
ma, also a Teerunanxie of the same temple, 
placed under my care by the honourable Sir 
Alexander Johnstone, late chief judge of the 
island of Ceylon, in order to be instructed in 
the Christian faith ; and during the space of 
two years have continued under my roof, and 
have given such satisfactory proofs of their 
total change from every species of idolatry and 
superstition, and thorough conversion to Chris- 
tianity, that I judged rights on their earnest appli- 



cation, after eighteen months' instruction, to ad- 
mit them into the Christian church by baptism, 
which was administered to them in Liverpool, 
12th March, 1820, according to the form of the 
Established Church of England. 

" As they now intend to return to their own 
land, with the purpose of testifying to their be- 
nighted countrymen the gospel of the grace of 
God, I feel much pleasure in being able to re- 
commend them to the notice of sincere Chris- 
tians in general, wherever they may come ; 
and especially to all who are in power and au- 
thority, both in ecclesiastical and civil affairs, 
being satisfied of the strict morality and loyalty 
of their principles, and that they are worthy of 
the confidence of all who may have any inter- 
course or connection with them. 

" Given under my hand, this 7th of May, 
Ai>am Clarke, LL. D." 

The following letter he received from the 
younger priest, soon after he left London ; 

"Deal, May 22, 1820. 
" My Dear Father, — I did write you a let- 
ter at Gravesend ; I thought that my last ; but 
now I got time, I write you a few lines more, 
because I know you very glad to hear how 
we get on. Our ship did put anchor here two 
days ago, but I cannot hear from you ; but in a 
few months I hope you will send me a pleasant 
letter to be happy to my heart j and I constantly 
pray to God for you live long, and be all sorl 


of happiness to you. Dear sir, believe me, I 
will work hard ; I intend to do ten years' work 
in five years ; and after that five years, if you 
live, then I will come and see you ; and if you 
be in glory before that my coming, then I will 
not come to England, but I will come to see 
you in glory. Amen. 

" God be with you, and with your family ; 
because, when I rejoice, you was rejoice with 
me ; when I laugh, you did laugh the same 
time with me ; when I question you, you did 
answer me for all ; for these your grand, glo- 
rious manner, I could not keep myself, because 
so heavy when I had to leave you. 

" Sir, I will try to be Englishman long as I 
live ; and if any try to make me Singhalese 
man, that I not like. 

" Give my love to all : now we are going. 
Farewell ; God bless you and your family. 
Your very humble servant, 

"Alexander Dherma Rama." 

In the month of May, 1821, Dr. Clarke, and 
several friends made another journey into Ire- 
land ; during which he visited the old school- 
house, where, at eight years of age, he found 
it so difficult to apprehend the meaning of the 
sentence in old Lilly's Latin Grammar, M In 
speech be these eight parts following: noun, 
pronoun," &c. 

Upon his return to Millbrook he diligently 
devoted himself to his Commentary, which had 
for some time been coming through the press, 


but which required much yet to make it com- 
plete. To these labours were added an exten- 
sive correspondence and attention to company, 
from which his house was seldom free. The 
hospitality of his disposition, as well as the 
kindness of his heart, may be seen from a small 
note addressed to his sons, dated 

" Millbrook, July 2 1 , 1 82 1 . 
" Dear Lads,— We have had a grand feast 
on the occasion of the coronation. We brought 
all our tenants together, even to the least of 
their young children, and gave them a dinner. 
They ate a world of beef, pies, puddings, and 
cheese, besides half a bushel of currants and 
cherries. To all our work-people I also gave 
a holyday, and paid each his day's wages ; and 
when all was over, I gave every child a penny ; 
all above eight years old, a sixpence ; and to 
every grown person, a shilling. We sung and 
prayed, and afterward dismissed them. They 
were as happy as they could be. Our union 
jack was flying all day. At sunset we struck 
our flag ; and heartily prayed, morning, noon, 
and night for the king." 

On the 13th of July of this year Dr. Clarke 
was elected a member of the Royal Irish Aca- 
demy ; an honour peculiarly agreeable to his 
feelings, as it came from his own country- 
men, and an institution on whose list were 
enrolled some of the most honourable names in 
the land. 

Toward the close of this year, Dr. Clarke, at 



the earnest request of the Methodists at Ep- 
worth, went over thither to preach for them. 
This visit was, of course, very interesting to 
him, as it led him to the birth-place of the 
founder of Methodism, the venerable John Wes- 
ley. Every thing that had been consecrated 
by his presence, or by his use, was dear to him 
who looked upon the departed Wesley as his 
father in the gospel. The letters which he 
wrote to some of the family while in this place 
exhibit the deep interest he felt in the spot, and 
the kind remembrance which he cherished for 
the apostle of modern reformation. " As a 
man, as a divine, as a philanthropist, he held 
Mr. Wesley in the highest rank of mortals; 
and his personal kindness to himself had super- 
added to all the other claims on his respect and 

In December of 1821 Dr. Clarke went to 
Stourport, in Worcestershire, where he had a 
general meeting of his family. He had often 
expressed a desire that this should take place ; 
and speaking of it, in a letter to his sons in 
London, dated in November, he proposed to 
have the meeting marked by some appropriate 
religious service, as it would be the last time, 
in human probability, that he should be per- 
mitted to have all his children around him. 
Speaking of the pleasure such an occasion 
would give him, he says, " Now we could all 
go together to the church, and get the clergy- 
man to deliver it [the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper] to us ; father, mother, John, Theodoret, 



Anna Maria and Rowley, Eliza and Hook, and 
| Mary Ann and Joseph ; this would be to me 
the happiest hour of my existence, and I have 
no doubt that God would crown it with an espe- 
I cial blessing, and would, from that hour, take 
l you all into his more especial care and pro- 
j tection. * * Some of my children have not 
ij entered into the Lord's covenant, and it is often 
to me a great and oppressive grief of heart. 
1 Let me, then, thus glory over you all, and my 
sun will set with fewer clouds after having had 
this divine satisfaction." As we have already 
stated, he enjoyed this pleasure. 

Soon after this Dr. Clarke received the fol- 
lowing letter from one of the Singhalese priests, 
I dated 

"Colombo, Dec. 19, 1821. 

" My Dear Father, — Here I am, comfort- 
able and happy : however, I will tell you my 
good generally. Since we sailed from Eng- 
land, we have every Sunday read prayers, and 
sometimes had a sermon ; every morning and 
evening we have met in Sir Richard Ottley's 
cabin to read the Bible and pray, indeed some- 
times bless God ; some of the other passen- 
gers have joined. We have three Sundays 
had the Lord's supper ; indeed my mind some- 
times rejoice concerning my soul. 

" Every day Judge Ottley order us to go to 
him for our improvement; indeed, by his teach- 
ing, we have got great knowledge — also he is 
very kind to us. Your book teaches us great 
knowledge : he talks to us out of it, and my 



mind is greatly satisfied with him all the time. 
I now better understand what you wrote to us 
in your little book, ( Clavis Biblica*) and I am 
now sorrowful in my mind when I read your 
excellent teaching, seeing my great danger of 
everlasting death, but I have often after read- 
ing much satisfaction in my mind : you have 
done great kindness to me, and I feel much as 
I can for your sake. 

" On the 30th of October we arrived at Co- 
lombo ; the governor very kind to me, and put 

me under Rev. Dr. S , who came from 

England, colonial chaplain; with him I study 
Christian religion, and I hope in a very short 
time I will be able to preach the salvation of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. When I was with you, 
I told you I wish to have some power to preach 
the gospel to heathen people : my wish, I thank 
God, he was done for me, and I have now ex- 
ceeding happiness in receiving this great bless- 
ing, and in seeing my welfare in this respect. 
My dear father, I will never forget you ; you 
cut me some of your hair, and when I think of 
you, I take it in my hand, and seeing that, my 
mind is full of sorrow, wanting you. Hereafter 

* Key to the Bible — a tract written by Dr. Clarke for 
the instruction of the Singhalese priests, and subsequently 
published, under the title of " Clavis Biblic* : or, a Com- 
pendium of Scriptural Knowledge ; containing a General 
view of the Contents of the Old and New Testaments, the 
Principles of Christianity derived from them, and the 
Reasons on which they are founded ; with Directions how 
to read most profitably the Holy Bible. Originally drawn 
up for the Instruction of two Teerunanxies, or High Priests 
of Budhoo, from the Island of Ceylon." 


I hope you send me your likeness ; what you 
have done for me makes me feel highly, and 
my daily prayer is for you and your family. I 
am, dear sir, your obedient servant, 

" Adam Munhi Rat'hana." 


Death of Mrs. Butterworth — Dr. Clarke visits Mr. Ben- 
son's death-bed — Elected president of the Wesleyan Con- 
ference the third time — Elected member of the Geological 
Society of London — Original member of the Royal Asiatic 
Society — Goes to preside at the Irish conference — Removes 

to the metropolis City life does not agree with him 

Retires to a country residence — Playfulness of his dispo- 
sition — Visits the duke of Sussex — Letter to his little 

In 1820 the family of Dr. Clarke was much 
afflicted by the death of Mrs. Butterworth, the 
devoted wife of Joseph Butterworth, Esq., and 
youngest sister of Mrs. Clarke. She died in 
great peace of mind, being supported by the 
consolations of that religion which she had 
embraced many years before her death. The 
following passage, from the seventy-third psalm, 
was often used by her in her last illness, as 
expressive of the entire confidence which she 
had in the goodness of the Lord : " Thou shalt 
guide me by thy counsel, and afterward receive 
me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but 
thee? and there is none upon earth I desire 
besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth : 
but God is the strength of my heart, and my 


portion for ever." Her incessant attention to 
the duties of religion, her great kindness to 
those who were the poor of Christ's flock, and 
her untiring diligence to lead a godly life, 
caused her friends, and particularly the large 
sphere of connections she left behind her, to 
feel sensibly the loss they had sustained by 
her decease ; but her dying testimony, added 
to the whole tenor of her religious history, for- 
bade them to mourn as those having no hope. 

In February of 1821 Dr. Clarke was called 
to stand by the death-bed of Rev. Joseph Ben- 
son, one of the soundest theologians belonging 
to the Methodist connection. When he entered 
the room Mr. Benson recognised him, and held 
out his hand, which Dr. Clarke took, and ob- 
served, " You are now, sir, called to prove, in 
your own experience, that power and mercy 
of God, exhibited under all circumstances, to 
which you have so long borne testimony." Mr. 
Benson replied, very distinctly, " That his reli- 
ance was firm and steadfast upon God, and 
that he did experience the power and comfort 
of the truths which he had preached." Dr. 
Clarke kneeled by his bedside, and in earnest 
prayer commended him to God's special sup- 
port, while he passed through the dark valley 
and shadow of death ; and then, kissing the 
clay-cold brow of the departing man of God, 
he left the house, deeply affected at the scene 
he had just witnessed. 

Before he left the city he was called to speak 
over the corpse of Mr. Benson, in City Road 



Chapel, before " an immense crowd of the 
friends and admirers of the deceased*' 5 

In July of the following year, 1822, he was 
again chosen president of the Wep'eyan Con- 
ference, which held its session in London* 
This was the third time he had been thus 
honoured by his brethren, a circumstance 
which before that time h&d never occurred in 
the history of Methodism, In 18&3 he was 
elected a member of the Geological Society 
of London. In the early part of this year he 
became one of the original members of the 
Royal Asiatic Society, which was formed on a 
plan proposed by Sir Alexander Johnstone and 
a few friends of India, who solicited Dr. Clarke 
to become one of their number. 

As Dr. Clarke had been elected president of 
the English conference, it became part of his 
duty to preside at the session of the Irish con- 
ference also ; and being earnestly solicited to 
hold missionary meetings in Scotland, he set 
off on this tour in the latter part of May, ac- 
companied by his friend, William Smith, Esq., 
and his daughter Mary Ann. During this tour 
he kept his regular diary, making comments on 
the places they passed, and referring to their 
historical associations. He paid a visit to that 
wonderful natural production of his native land, 
the Giant's Causeway. The following were 
his reflections in a church-yard in which some 
of his family were buried : — " Here lie several 
of my ancestors, and I go to lie, most probably, 
in another land, and shall not, in all likelihood, 



be gathered to my fathers : but I too shall be 
found when all the quick and dead shall stand 
before t^e Lord ; and wheresoever my dust 
may be scattered, the voice of the Lord shall 
call it together, and I shall stand in ray lot at 
the end of my <Hys. May I then be found of 
him in peace, without spot, and without blame, 
and have an entrance into the holiest, through 
the blood of Jesus !" 

Although Dr. Clarke was exceedingly at- 
tached to* Mill-brook, and the retirement of the 
country, yet, as his children married and became 
settled in London, he felt a strong desire to be 
nearer them. This caused him to dispose of 
his estate at Millbrook, and remove his family 
to the metropolis. In the early part, of Febru- 
ary, 1824, he took a house in Canonbury-square, 
and preceded them by several w r eeks, in order 
to have things in a proper state when they 

Shortly after his arrival he drew up some 
observations on the " Complutensian Polyglott," 
for his royal highness the duke of Sussex. 
This was a subject on which they had corre- 
sponded, and in which the duke felt interested. 
From his incessant application to this and other 
literary labours, it seemed as though he could 
not live apart from study. 

From the first of his arrival in London, it 
became evident that the city would not agree 
with him ; and in a short time his health be- 
came seriously affected. His friend, Dr. Hunter, 
advised him to remove to the country. He 


life of adam clarke. 


succeeded in obtaining a residence at Eastcott, 
about sixteen miles from London, to which he 
retired in September, 1824. He was pleased 
to be restored to his favourite manner of life, to 
rural objects and occupations. As he looked 
around him on the beauties of nature, he would 
often exclaim, " God made the country, man 
made the town ; here I feet myself at home. 
The endless noise, and brick and mortar of 
London, distract and make me nearly miserable. 
Thank God, he has once more saved me 
from it." 

Dr. Clarke's new residence was called Hay- 
don Hall. Having no place of worship within 
two miles of his residence, he fitted up one of 
his cottages as a chapel, and soon had it filled 
with orderly and attentive hearers. 

Shortly after taking up his residence at East- 
cott, he addressed the following playful invita- 
tion to one of his daughters : — 

" My Dear Mary Ann, — We are, as yet, 
any thing but settled : but we are daily getting 
nearer to that, happy state. I have at hand but 
this single half sheet of paper, but to it you are 

I write merely to say, 
There 's a chaise in full play, 
Which 1 '11 get if 1 may, 
And at moderate pay, 
On Monday or Tuesday, 
Or eke Saturday. 

The horses are good, and the tackle is gay, 
The driver is sprightly as April or May, 
He '11 run up to London, to bear you away, 
And drive you to JEastcott to hold holiday ; 


And when you are here, we would keep you for aye, 
And make you quite happy as long as you stay. 
Then come at our bidding, and do not say nay, 
And may you have safety along the highway, 

Says your affectionate Father." 

When in health this cheerfulness of dispo- 
sition never forsook him. He could turn from 
the severest study to the social conversation of 
the fireside. The younger children he amused 
by singing to them the nursery rhymes which 
pleased his own fancy, and the popular ballads 
of his youth, while he narrated to the larger 
children the historical circumstances which 
gave rise to them ; thus blending instruction 
and amusement. Of the same character with 
the letter we have just given was a note which 
he addressed to Mrs. Clarke, dated 

" Hay don Hall, Dec. 21, 1824. 
" With an old pen. 

" My Dear Mary, — I began my comment 
on Jeremiah Nov. 1, 1824, and finished that and 
the Lamentations on the 30th of the same 
month. I began my comment on Ezekiel, Dec. 
21, 1824, and the whole has been written with 
this miserable pen, with which I write this, 
and which I here enclose — - 

* With this poor pen I wrote these books, 
Made of a gray goose quill ; 
A pen 'twas then, with shabby looks, 
And a pen I leave it still !' 

"Jeremiah and Lamentations occupy 220 
closely written large quarto pages, and Ezekiel | 
176 pages. Total, 396. Ever yours at com- 
mand, Adam Clarke." 


Some time before this Dr. Clarke had been 
appointed to the superintendence of the Shet- 
land missions, and still retained his affection for 
these islands ; labouring, preaching, and collect- 
ing funds to support the ministers engaged in 
that work. The correspondence which he held 
with the missionaries engaged there evinces the 
warmest attachment to the cause, and an abiding 
interest in the ministers who were thus spending 
their strength in promoting the spiritual im- 
provement of the islanders. His letters to them 
contain the kindest advice, delivered in the 
most affectionate language of parental solicitude. 
This solicitude exhibited itself as well in pro- 
viding for their bodily comfort, as for their 
spiritual well-being. 

While Dr. Clarke was in London, in April, 
1825, the duke of Sussex, who had always 
exhibited a marked attention to him, desired to 
introduce him to his particular friend, &e duke 
of Hamilton. This enlightened nobleman he 
met at the palace of his royal highness the duke 
of Sussex. Here he was distinguished with 
every attention, and was by no means the least 
conspicuous in the noble and intellectual com- 
pany assembled to enjoy the hospitality of his 
royal highness. And here let us compare the 
present situation of the Rev. Dr. Clarke, re- 
ceiving the merited homage of royalty itself, 
with the desolate feelings of the poor boy who 
was refused a bed at Kingswood school, and 
advised to seek lodgings elsewhere, afar from 
his home and his friends, and with the small 



sum of but threepence halfpenny to which he 
could look for support. When we see how the 
kindness of Providence favoured his efforts in 
the cultivation of his mind, and gently cleared 
his pathway, who is there in such desperate 
circumstances that may not take courage, and 
rely upon the same Providence to bless his in- 
dustry, and cause it to succeed. 

In the summer of this year he went over to 
Cork, to preach in aid of the funds of the Wes- 
leyan foreign missions. The effect of the salt 
air on his eyes proved to be very favourable ; 
and, indeed, he wrote back to his daughter that 
they had almost become absolutely well. 

In this year the Shetlanders sent over to Dr. 
Clarke a strong expression of the sense of obliga- 
tion which they felt themselves to be under for 
his untiring efforts to promote their welfare ; 
informing him of their spiritual improvement 
under the ministry of the Methodist preachers. 

The desir- Dr. Clarke had to afford pleasure 
even to children may be learned from the fol- 
lowing letter to one of his little grandsons, 
accompanying a present of foreign stuffed 
birds : — 


" Haydon Hall, Nov. 8, 1825. 
" My Dear Little Grandson, — Your father 
and mother tell me that you are fond of birds, 
especially pretty little birds that have pretty 
feathers — blue, green, yellow, red, tine glossy 
black, and fair lily-white, with nice bills and 



beautiful legs ; but your mamma tells me that 
you have but one such bird ; what a pity, when 
you love it so well, and would take great care 
of others also, if you had them. Well, my dear 
Adam, I have many very beautiful birds, which 
have been sent me from countries very far off, 
and they were sent me by very good people 
who love me, and I will give some of them to 
you, Adam, because I love you. Now, my -dear 
Adam, I much Tike these little birds. Is it 
because they have very beautiful feathers, and 
beaks, and legs! or that because when they 
were alive they sang so delightfully, ran so 
fast, and flew so swiftly ? All this, indeed, I 
-love ; but I love them most because it was the 
same good God who made them that made my- 
self; and he who feeds me feeds them also, 
and takes care of them; and he made them 
beautiful, that you, and I, and all people might 
be pleased with their fine feathers and sweet 
singing. Now, a man who has a great deal of 
money may -go to places where people sing fox 
money, or have music in the house, such as your 
dear Cecilia plays ; but there are a great many 
poor people in the world who have scarcely 
money enough to buy bread when they are 
hungry, or clothes to keep them warm in the 
cold weather. Now, my dear, these cannot 
litre people to sing, nor can they have music in 
their houses, like your mamma ; yet they love 
to hear music ; so would it not be a pity that 
they should not have some also ? See, then, 
why the good God, who made you, formed so 


many fine birds with such sweet voices to sing 
the sweetest songs ; these are the poor man's 
music ; they sing to hint for nothing \ They do 
not even ask a crumb of bread from the poor 
man; and when he is going to work in the 
morning they sing to encourage him > and when 
he is returning home in the evening, very weary,, 
because he has worked very hard, then they 
sing again, that he may be pleased and not 
grieve nor fret. Now, is not God very good 
for making these pretty little musicians to en- 
courage and comfort the poor labouring man ? 
And will you not then love this God who made 
them for so kind a purpose ?*■*-* 

" Now you must know, Adam, that I am very 
fond of these nice little birds ; and often take 
crumbs of bread and scatter them under the win- 
dows, that they may come and peck them up \ and 
once I put a stick m the ground before the par^ 
^our window, with a cross stick on the top of \% y 
just like your letter T, that you have been 
learning in your A B C,. and often would I lift 
up the window and cry, Bobby r Bobby,, and the 
sweet redbreast, so soon as he could hear my 
voice, would hy near the window, and sit on 
the cross stick ; then I left the crumbs and bits 
of cheesey of which they are very fond, upon 
the ledge of the window, and when I had shut 
down the sash, then Bobby would come and eat 
them all up ! * * * I have told you before that 
I love little bircfe ; yes, I love them even when? 
they are dead ; and I get their skins stufFed„ 
and made to look just as if the birds were alive. 



Now I send you several of these beautiful 
stuffed birds, and they shall be your own, and 
you must take care of them, and keep them for 
the sake of your loving and affectionate grand- 
father, Adam Clarke J* 


Finishes his Commentary — His children present him a 
silver vase on the occasion — Goes to Shetland — Storm on 
the passage — Reception in Shetland — Death of Mr. Butter- 
worth — His character— Meets with a serions accident — 
Letter to his son-in-law. 

We are now about the period of Dr. Clarke's 
finishing his greatest literary undertaking, — his 
Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 
We will give his concluding remarks at the end 
of his great work. He says, " In this arduous 
labour I have had no assistance, not even a 
week's help from an amanuensis ; no person to 
look for common places, or refer to an ancient 
author, to find out the place and transcribe a 
passage of Latin, Greek, or any other language 
which my memory had generally recalled, or to 
verify a quotation : the help excepted which I 
received from my own nephew, Mr. John Ed- 
ward Clarke, I have laboured alone for nearly 
twenty-five years previously to the work being 
sent to the press ; and fifteen years have been 
employed in bringing it through the press to the 
public ; and thus about forty years of my life 
have been consumed ; and from this the reader 
will at once perceive that the work, be it well 



or ill executed, has not been done in a careless 
or precipitate manner; nor have any means 
within my reach been neglected to make it in 
every respect, as far as possible, what the title- 
page promises, 4 A help to the better under- 
standing of the sacred writings.' 

"Thus, through the merciful help of God, 
my labour in this field terminates — a labour 
which, were it yet to commence, with the know- 
ledge I now have of its difficulties, and, in many 
respects, my inadequate means, millions even 
of the gold of Ophir, and all the honours that 
can come from man, could not induce me to 
undertake. Now that it is finished, I regret 
not the labour. I have had the testimony of 
many learned, pious, and judicious friends, 
relative to the execution and usefulness of the 
work. It has been admitted into the very 
highest ranks of society, and has lodged in the 
cottage of the poor. It has been the means of 
doing good to the simple of heart, and the wise 
man, and the seribe ; the learned and the 
philosopher, according to their own generous 
acknowledgments, have not in vain consulted 
its pages. For these, and all his other mercies 
to the writer and the reader, may God, the 
fountain of ail good, be eternally praised. 

"Eastcott, April 17, 1826/' 

His family often witnessed the deep de- 
pression of spirit under which he sometimes 
laboured ; and frequently they have entered his 
study, and found him so deeply engaged in 



earnest communion with God, with his pen in 
his hand and his manuscript before him, that he 
was unconscious of their presence. The con- 
clusion of this weighty undertaking was a 
matter of much rejoicing to his family. The 
last sentence was written while on his knees, 
in the fulness of his heart praising that kind 
Providence which had prolonged his existence, 
and given him strength and assistance to com- 
plete this great work. 

The afternoon in which the work was finish- 
ed, (which was on the anniversary of his wed- 
ding day,) he came into the parlour, and, with- 
out speaking to any one, he beckoned to his 
youngest son and took him into the hall, and 
said, " Come with me, Joseph : I wish to take 
you into my study." His son followed, sus- 
pecting nothing extraordinary. But what was 
his astonishment when Dr. Clarke pointed to 
his large study table, cleared of all its volumes 
and papers, and nothing remaining on it but 
his Bible : " This, Joseph," said he, " is the 
happiest period I have enjoyed for years. I 
have put the last hand to my Comment : I 
have written the last word of the work : I have 
put away the chains that would remind me of 
my bondage ; and there (pointing to the steps 
of his library ladder) have I returned the deep 
thanks of a grateful soul to the God who has 
shown me such great and continued kindness : 
I shall now go into the parlour, tell my good 
news to the rest, and enjoy myself for the day." 

Some time after this his children had a large 


silver vase prepared to present to their father, 
as a memorial of the completion of a work 
which had caused him so much pain and 
labour, and as a token of the joy they felt on 
the occasion. He was invited to dine with his 
two elder sons, when all the family was pre- 
sent. At the conclusion of the dinner the offer- 
ing, covered from the sight, was brought in and 
placed at the head of the table. The doctor's 
eldest son then rose, " and in the name of each 
and of all of the family uncovered and offered 
it, with an appropriate address, to their reve- 
rend parent : for a few moments he sat incapa- 
ble of utterance ; then, regarding them all, he 
rose, spread his hands over the unexpected 
token of his children's love, and pronounced 
his blessing upon them individually and col- 

u His eldest son then filled the vessel with 
wine % which his father first raised to his own lips, 
then to those of his beloved wife, and after- 
ward bore it to each of the family present : he 
then put it down, and in a strain of the most 
heart-felt, eloquent tenderness, addressed his 
children in the name of their revered mother 
and himself in terms which they will never for- 

§ et " 

Dr. Clarke still felt an undiminished regard 
for the cause of the Shetland missions, and a 
great desire to visit them. This he communi- 
cated to his family. They objected strongly, 
on account of the state of his health. He felt 
convinced that it would greatly promote the 



good of the mission, and when this was settled 
in his mind it was no easy thing to move him. 
In writing to Mrs. Clarke, while he was in Bir- 
mingham, he says : — 

" I may be ultimately hindered from going to 
Shetland : but to my judgment and feelings it 
seems a work which God has given me to do : 
I must go on till he stops me. To sacrifice 
my life at the command, or in the cause of, 
God, is, as to pain or difficulty, no more than a 
burned straw : my life is his, and he will not 
take it away out of the regular course, unless 
greatly to his glory and my good." 

Accordingly, in June of 1826, accompanied 
by one of his sons, he started for the Shetland 
islands. On their passage they met with a 
very severe storm. The wind was dead ahead 
and blew a hurricane. The sea became very 
boisterous, and the billows swept over the little 
cutter in which they were, and every moment 
they seemed in danger of going down beneath 
the waves. The crew managed to get all the 
sails down ; but they were obliged, in sailor- 
phrase, to bear away, as there was no hope of 
anchoring while the storm lasted. It soon 
abated, however, and then they had a fair gale, 
M though the sea was still tremendous." They 
had a strong breeze in their favour from this to 
the end of the voyage. 

During the storm two small boats were cast 
away, and the persons on board one of them 
were lost. At the commencement of the storm 
one of the king's revenue cutters being out on 



the seas in service, when she saw the vessel 
in which Dr. Clarke was, bearing away before 
the storm, took her to be a smuggler. She made 
a signal, which they were unable to repeat, as 
their flag had become entangled in the shrouds. 
She then discharged a blank cartridge, and 
finding that heT signals remained unanswered, 
was on the point of firing into his majesty's 
vessel, when they found that she was engaged 
in the service of the Shetland islands. Thus 
Dr. Clarke and his company barely escaped 
two catastrophes. 

They arrived at the place of their destination 
on the 17th of June. Dr. Clarke, while on this 
missionary visit, spared not himself, but laboured 
bodily and mentally for the promotion of the 
welfare of the people in whom he felt so deeply 

Although the fatigue of the voyage, in the 
state of health in which he then was, was suf- 
ficient to prevent him from much exertion, yet 
we find him preaching, exhorting, and visiting ; 
attending to matters of discipline, and advising 
with the ministers stationed there as to the 
best manner in which to secure the objects for 
which they were all labouring, namely, to pro- 
mote the spiritual good of the islanders. He 
was most kindly received by all classes, lairds, 
merchants, and peasants of the places which 
he visited, and all seemed delighted to behold 
the man to whom the Shetland islands were so 
deeply indebted. He had the pleasure of un- 
packing one of the boxes of goods which he 



himself had put up in London to send to these 

The people testified their sense of his kind- 
ness by small presents of " Shetland stockings 
and gloves," of the finest wool and the most 
delicate texture. One of the highest compli- 
ments he received was from a " poetical au- 
thoress of considerable merit and celebrity in 
these northern regions." The following were 
the verses she presented to him, and on ac- 
count of the truth and piety of the sentiments 
they contain we will transcribe them. 


14 Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in 
the islands." 

And hast thou, generous stranger, come 

From blooming scenes where nature smiles ; 

And left thine own delightful home, 
To visit Thule's barren isles ? 

What tempted thee to come so far, 

A wanderer from the land of bliss ! 
To brave the elemental war 

Of such a stormy shore as this ? 

'Twas not the insatiate love of gold, 

Nor proud ambition's loftier aim ; 
Nor brighter regions to behold, 

Nor undiscover'd lands to claim. 

No ; it was still a loftier aim — 

'Twas Christian zeal, and Christian love — 
A bright and never-dying flame, 

Pure, holy, harmless, from above. 

B'ess'd is the man whose holy breast 

Enshrines this spark of life divine ; 
Bless'd is his home — his family bh ss'd — 

Such bliss belongs to thee and thine. 



Such bliss on earth thy portion be, 

And everlasting bliss above, 
When death shad set thy spirit free, 

To live with God in realms of love. 


Lerwick, July 5, 1826. 

When Dr. Clarke arrived in Edinburgh, on July 
12, he received the melancholy intelligence of 
the death of his brother-in-law, Joseph Butter- 
worth, M. P. This occurrence was regarded as 
a public calamity. Mr. Butterworth had won the 
respect and esteem of the community by the 
benevolence of his character and his great 
moral worth. The active part he took in all 
the operations of benevolent societies, and the 
zeal he exhibited to promote their interests, 
had endeared him to many who entertained the 
same feelings. His funeral sermon was preach- 
ed by the late Rev. Richard Watson, who had 
been associated with him in the Wesleyan 
Missionary Society for many years ; and the 
beautiful picture he drew of the character of 
the deceased is, in all its particulars, exactly 
faithful to the original. 

He was efficiently engaged in the " Strangers' 
Friend Society," the British and Foreign Bible 
Society, and the Wesleyan Missionary Society. 
Of the latter he was the treasurer for many 
years, and chairman at its annual meetings. 
One day in every week he set apart to receive, > 
at his own house, the poor and needy, in order 
to give them the advice which they needed. 
His servant counted nearly one hundred of 
these in one day. To the stranger and visiter 


in England his house, his table, his hospitality, 
•and his attention were ever afforded. Thus in 
all the actions of his life he honoured God, and 
God honoured him. 

Dr. Clarke was not long permitted to rest 
after his return from the Shetland islands. 
Frequent and urgent calls were made upon him 
to preach anniversary sermons, and deliver ad- 
dresses in behalf of Sunday schools. With all 
these requests he promptly complied whenever 
the state of his health permitted. 

In January of 1827, as he was returning 
from his appointment in London, just before he 
reached his own house the horse which was 
in his barouchette began to gallop at such a 
furious rate that the driver could not restrain 
him. The wheel of the carriage soon struck 
against a bank at the turn of the road, and Dr. 
Clarke was projected forward with such vio- 
lence that, to use his own words, "his head 
felt as if it had been perfectly cloven asunder 
by the violence of the shock." In a moment 
after the carnage was overturned, and as Dr. 
Clarke was fastened in, he could do nothing to 
extricate himself. As he heard no noise with- 
out, he concluded that the servant was killed. 
He, however, being less injured than his mas- 
ter, soon got him out, and while a neighbour 
who was passing held the horse, Dr. Clarke 
managed to get home. Here it was found that 
he was very badly hurt. His face was severely 
cut, his arms scratched, his back injured, and 
his ribs nearly broken. Every remedy that could 



be procured was applied, but the doctor suffer- 
ed for some time from this accident. 

As at Millbrook, so atHaydonHall, Dr. Clarke 
soon made arrangements to have a place of 
worship fitted up so near his house that Mrs. 
Clarke could attend. Accordingly he turned one 
of his cottages into a preaching place, and had 
the neighbours provided with the means of 
grace. Here he established a Sunday school 
for the instruction of the children of those who 
attended the ministrations of the word in his 
little chapel. Not only were the smaller chil- 
dren thus blessed with an opportunity to be 
instructed, but those " of a larger growth" also 
evinced a great desire to be taught to read. As 
soon as arrangements were made to accommo- 
date them, the names of seventy children were 
given, with a promise to be punctual in their 
attendance. Thus a new field of usefulness 
was opened, and many made happy by being 
here taught the will of God. 

We will conclude this chapter by a note 
addressed to his son-in-law, on hearing that one 
of his children was ill. It will show the 
kindly feelings of Dr. Clarke's heart. 


" Hay don Hall, Dec. 14, 1827. 
"My Dear Hook, — I have received your 
note this morning, and am quite concerned 
about your nice little babe, and I write to re- 
quest you will let us hear how it is. I well 
know that it is not an easy thing to bury chil- 
dren; and can never forget the saying of a 



plain man in Leeds, who, having lost a child, 
was bewailing his case to a neighbour, who 
said, ' My dear friend, be thankful that God 
has taken your child ; he will do better for it 
than you could ever do ; he has taken it to 
himself in mercy.' The poor father only an- 
swered, ' Ah, I see it is an easy thing to bury 
other folks' children.' A man does not like to 
see even a thorn which he has planted in his 
garden either wither or die. With hearty love 
to Eliza, I am yours affectionately, 

" Adam Clarke." 


Preaching excursion — Has an attack of the rheumatism 
— Visits Shetland — Another preaching tour — Vacancy in 
the Shetland mission — Writes the " Traveller's Prayer" — 
Publishes a volume of sermons — Letter to the bishop of Lon- 
don — Elected an honorary fellow of the Eclectic Society — 
Resolutions at the beginning of the year — Solicitude for the 
safety of his wife — Visits Ireland again — Lines in an album. 

In April of the year 1828 Dr. Clarke was 
engaged in another preaching excursion, holding 
missionary meetings, and labouring to promote 
the glory of God. In Bristol, where he stopped 
in order to address a public meeting, he was 
taken ill of a severe rheumatic fever. Here he 
was confined for three weeks, and prevented 
from filling the appointments he had made. 
This, added to the pain which he suffered, was 
sufficient to depress his spirits ; but we find 
from the following extract of a letter, addressed 
to one of his daughters, that he did not alto- 
gether lose his cheerfulness : — 


" April 17. 

" My right hand, my dear Mary Ann, has lost 
its cunning ; I cannot use either it or my arm 
better than the scratches you see, and even 
these are made by my left hand pulling along 
the paper as the stiffened ringers of my right 
lay with my poor afflicted arm on the pillow. 
I am quite a Nazarite, no razor having been on 
my face for about a fortnight. You know I never 
liked any man playing with a naked razor about 
my throat ; so that I look like one of the most 
forlorn of hermits." 

On the 30th of this month he was sufficiently 
recovered to accompany his eldest sou to Lon- 
don, "and in a short time enabled to attend to 
his numerous engagements. Of these, perhaps, 
none at the time we are speaking of occupied 
as much of his attention as the Shetland mis- 
sion. The borders of that charge had been 
greatly increased ; many chapels had been built, 
and, of course, a larger supply of preachers was 
called for. Dr. Clarke had exerted himself in 
eveiy proper manner, in order to call the atten- 
tion of the church and the public to the wants 
of this station ; and by means of his incessant 
begging and continual writing on the subject 
he had, in a great measure, succeeded. 

He now entertained thoughts of making an- 
other visit to the islands, in order to see that 
discipline was properly regarded, and to place 
the societies on a firm foundation. His family 
were more reluctant to yield their consent to 



this second visit than to the first, in view of his 
having just recovered from a severe illness. 
He, however, felt that it was his duty to give the 
assistance of his counsel to the preachers who 
were labouring in that part of the Lord's herit- 
age. " Shetland," said he, "lies near my heart, 
and is bound up with the deepest and most af- 
fectionate feelings of my nature and whatever 
objections his family urged to his making the 
proposed voyage, he felt a conviction that it 
was a duty to go, and under these circumstances 
could not consent to listen to the voice of 

Accordingly, he took with him his friends, 
Rev. James Everett, Rev. J. Loutit, Mr. J. 
Campion, Mr. Read, Mr. Smith, and his second 
son, Theodoret. In addition to the pleasure 
of their company, he enjoyed the convenience 
of a sloop, which he had under his own control, 
by means of which he was enabled to visit the 
whole group. This boat was fitted up in a 
very convenient manner, having two cabins, 
one of which contained a dining-room capable 
of seating ten or twelve persons. With this 
little vessel they started from Whitby, in York- 
shire, on the 17th of June. 

They kept their course so straight from 
Whitby to the landing place at Sumburg Head, 
Sheltand, as scarcely to have deviated a single 
foot. This point appeared in view about noon 
of the fourth day, and they landed at seven 
o'clock on June 21st, and on the following day, 
which was sabbath, Dr. Clarke preached in the 


morning, Mr. Loutit in the afternoon, and Mr. 
Everett in the evening, to very large congre- 

Dr. Clarke found that the number in society 
in all the station amounted to one thousand four 
hundred and forty. He ascertained that the 
wants of many of the people were very great; 
and he employed much of his time in inquiring 
into their necessities, and in endeavouring to 
supply them. The inhabitants of the islands 
seemed anxious to have preaching, and many 
places were now offered for that purpose, where 
the missionaries had before endeavoured in vain 
to succeed. At Uyea Sound four women 
came begging to be carried in the boat to Unst, 
in order to hear preaching, having already 
walked sixteen miles. Wherever they went 
the visiters were received with the utmost 
kindness and courtesy, and all appeared anx- 
ious to hear the word of God. We who enjoy 
innumerable blessings know not how to appre- 
ciate them ; but these people, to whom preach- 
ing was a rarity, were prepared, not only to 
listen with attention, but to set some value on 
the few means of grace occasionally extended 
to them. 

At Foula he laid the corner stone of a chapel 
which was about to be built there. The com- 
pany procured a spade and dug away the soil, 
until they came to a rocky bottom. They then 
placed the stone, where probably it will remain 
until the morning of the resurrection ; and Dr. 
Clarke pronounced the following words,—" In 



the name of God the Father, God the Son, and 
God the Holy Ghost, I lay this stone as the 
foundation of a house intended to be erected 
for the preaching of the everlasting gospel, for 
the glory of thy name, Almighty God, and the 
endless salvation of all who may worship in 
this place !" After having thus spoken, he con- 
cluded the ceremony by prayer, commending 
the projected chapel to the care of that great 
Being for whose worship it was to be erected. 

The company left Shetland on the 17th of 
July, and arrived at Whitby on the 22 d ; and 
Dr. Clarke reached Haydon Hall on the 28th, 
having circumnavigated the Shetland islands, 
and preached as often as possible the unsearch- 
able riches of Christ. This voyage was a 
great undertaking for him in the state of his 
health at that time, but the Lord supported him 
in its fatigue and strengthened his heart. 

He was not long suffered to enjoy the quiet 
rest of his own house : in the autumn of this 
year, 1828, he was again ealled on to under- 
take a preaching tour in the behalf of chapels 
and schools. 

In the earlier part of 1829, in consequence 
of the illness of his wife, one of the mission- 
aries engaged in the Shetland mission was 
obliged to leave the northern regions. It de- 
volved on Dr. Clarke to secure a substitute, and 
he immediately set himself to work to accom- 
plish it. It appears from his correspondence 
at that time that he succeeded in inducing Rev. 
Mr. Tabraham and wife to take the place of 



Mr. and Mrs. TruemaiK Dr. Clarke's great 
devotion to the cause of Shetland missions ap- 
pears in a declaration he made in a letter to 
Rev. Mr. Tabraham : — "I know the place, I 
know the people, I know the work, and I know 
the God who is there with his faithful labour- 
ers. Had I twenty years less of age on my 
head, I would not write a leaf to entreat any 
person to go : I would go ; I would there labour, 
and there die, if it so pleased my divine Mas- 

Dr. Clarke had to labour incessantly during 
this year, in order to preserve the pecuniary 
matters of the Shetland mission from embar- 
rassment. The friends of the cause were not 
backward in coming up to his help, and many 
contributed largely of their substanee. Robert 
Scott, Esq., had been very liberal in his dona- 
tions, the whole amounting to upward of 
£1200. To all those who thus assisted him 
Dr. Clarke ever felt under great obligation, 
regarding any thing bestowed upon Shetland as 
little short of a favour done to himself. 

In this year, 1829,. he published a discourse 
on the Third Collect for Grace , in the Common 
Prayer Book of the Church of England. This 
work was originally intended to circulate among 
his friends, but several prelates of the Establish- 
ment requested that it might be printed in a 
small pocket size for general circulation. Dr. 
Clarke consented to publish it in the manner 
suggested, and entitled it, The Traveller's 
Prayer. In the same year he published a 



volume of sermons, and forwarded a copy of 
them to the bishop of London, with a letter, 
from which we make the following extract, as 
it shows the disposition with which he looked 
upon the Church of England, and the manner 
in which he was regarded by many of the most 
excellent men attached to that Establish- 
ment : — 

" At an anniversary meeting of the 4 Prayer 
Book and Homily Society/ an excellent cler- 
gyman, quoting something that I had written, 
was pleased to preface it by the remark, ' The 
worthy doctor, who, of all the men I know who 
are not of our Church, comes the nearest both 
in doctrine and friendship to it.' When he had 
1 done I arose, and after making an apology, 
(which the company were pleased to receive 
with great tokens of kindness,) I took the 
liberty to observe, ' 1 was born, so to speak, in 
the Church, baptized in the Church, brought up 
in it, confirmed in it by that most apostolic 
man, Dr. Bagot, then bishop of Bristol, after- 
ward of Norwich, have held all my life unin- 
terrupted communion with it, conscientiously 
believe its doctrines, and have spoken and writ- 
ten in defence of it ; and if, after all, I am not 
allowed to be a member of it, because, through 
necessity being laid upon me, I preach Jesus 
and the resurrection to the perishing multitudes 
without those most respectable orders that come 
from it, I must strive to be content ; and if you 
will not let me accompany you to heaven, 
I will, by the grace of God, follow after you, 



and hang upon your skirts.' This simple decla- 
ration left few unaffected in a large assembly, 
where there were many of the cleTgy. Mr. Wil- 
berforce, who was sitting beside the chair, rose 
up with even more than his usual animation, and 
with \ winged words' said, ' Far from not ac- 
knowledging our worthy friend ; far from not 
acknowledging him as a genuine member of 
the Church, and of the " church of the first-born 
whose names are written in heaven ;" far from 
preventing him to be of the company who are 
pressing in at the gate of blessedness, — we will 
not indeed let him " follow," he shall not "hang 
on our skirts," to be as if dragged onward, — we 
will take him in our arms, we will bear him in 
our bosom, and with shouting carry him into 
the presence of his God and our God !' The 
worthy clergyman, whose speech had given 
rise to these observations, soon placed himself 
on the best ground with, 1 Indeed, Dr. Clarke, 
my observation went only to the simple fact of 
your not being a clergyman of the established 

" Whatever evil may be in this, I believe 
your lordship already knows lies at the door 
of the res angusta domi* It was neither my 
fault nor my folly. Of the established Church 
I have never been a secret enemy nor a silent 
friend. What I feel toward it the angels are 

* Alluding to the narrow circumstances of his father 9 * 
family \ which precluded the possibility of his receiving a 
university education. 


welcome to ponder ; and what I have spoken 
or written concerning it, and in its favour, I be- 
lieve I shall never be even tempted to retract. 
Being bred up in its bosom, I early drank in its 
salutary doctrines and spirit. I felt it from my 

j earliest youth, as I felt a most dear relative. 
While yet dependant on, and most affection- 
ately attached to her (my natural mother) who 
furnished me with my first aliment, I felt from 
an association, which your lordship will at 
once apprehend, what was implied in mother 
Church. Howsoever honourable it may be to 
a person who was in the wrong to yield to 
conviction, and embrace the right, that kind of 
honour I have not in reference to the Church. 

1 I was never converted to it ; I never had any 
thing to unlearn, when, with a heart open to 
conviction, I read in parallel the New Testa- 
ment and the liturgy of the Church. I therefore 
find that, after all I have read, studied, and 
learned, I am not got beyond my infant's pray- 
er : — 4 1 heartily thank my heavenly Father 
that he hath called me into this state of salva- 
tion ; and pray unto him that he may give me 
grace to continue in the same unto the end of 
my life.' " 

In the beginning of the winter Dr. Clarke 
was again called from home to preach charity 
sermons. During the severity of this season 
he exerted himself as much as possible to re- 
lieve the poor of his own immediate neighbour- 
hood, purchasing for them such clothing as they 




lacked, and such as was necessary to render 
them comfortable. 

The year 1830 opened with a new literary 
honour conferred upon Dr. Clarke, the announce- 
ment of which was as follows : — 

"January 13, 1830. 
" Rev. Sir, — I have the honour of communi- 
cating to you that you have been elected an 
honorary fellow of the " Eclectic Society of 
London ;" and the fellows and members request 
your acceptance of this mark of their respect, 
paid only to those who have rendered them- 
selves eminent in literature, or in the arts and 
sciences. Rev. sir, I am your very obedient 
servant, C. E. Jenkins." 

At the opening of the year Dr. Clarke entered 
into resolutions for his better improvement. In 
writing to one of his daughters, he says : — 

" With the new year I felt a purpose to mend, 
particularly in two things : — 

" First, To read my Bible more regularly, 
and to get through it once more before I should 

" My second purpose was, to bear the evils 
and calamities of life with less pain of spirit ; 
if I suffer wrong, to leave it to God to right me : 
to murmur against no dispensation of his provi- 
dence ; to bear ingratitude and unkindness, as 
things totally beyond my control, and, conse- 
quently, things on account of which I should 
not distress myself ; and though friends and 



confidants should fail, to depend more on my 
everlasting Friend, who never can fail, and who, 
to the unkindly treated, will cause all such things 
to work together for their good. As to wicked 
men, I must suffer them ; for the wicked will 
deal wickedly, that is their nature ; and from 
them nothing else can be reasonably expected. 

" Again, I have resolved to withdraw, as 
much as possible, from the cares and anxieties 
of public life, having grappled with them as 
long as the number of my years can well per- 
mit ; and in this respect I have a conscience 
as clear as a diamond, f that in simplicity and 
godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by 
the grace of God, I have had my conversation 
among men ;' and now I feel that, with the 
necessaries and conveniences of life, I can 
cheerfully take up in the wilderness the lodging- 
place of a wayfaring man." 

Shortly after this, Dr. Clarke undertook 
another preaching tour. An incident occurred 
on this journey which illustrates the intense 
solicitude he felt for his wife. He was to meet 
her at Uxbridge, and while he and his son John 
were on their way, a barouchette passed them 
so rapidly that they could not recognise any 
thing in it. When they reached the inn they 
found neither Mrs. Clarke nor any word from 
her. It immediately occurred to their minds 
that she might have been in the barouchette 
which drove so furiously past them. When they 
inquired at the inn respecting it, all they could 
learn was, that the carriage had passed through 



the to wd, but nothiDg more was known of it. 
Dr. Clarke immediately despatched a man on 
horseback in the direction it had taken, and his 
son ran on foot the same road. They soon 
returned, bringing Mrs. Clarke and the gentle- 
man who had accompanied her. The horse 
had been stopped, and both Mrs. Clarke and her 
companion had alighted. She remained calm 
during all the danger, but the gentleman was so 
frightened on her account as to require medical 
aid. Dr. Clarke, speaking of his own feel- 
ings on the occasion, said, " I scarcely knew 
what to do, or say, or apprehend ; I was as 
if turned to stone. When we arrived at Wor- 
cester, I endeavoured to describe what I felt to 
my daughter Anna Maria and my son Joseph, 
who had come from Bristol to meet us ; but 
they were obliged to supply me with words 
very often, and guess out my meaning. I felt 
no affection in my head, no giddiness, no con- 
fusion, and my intellect was perfectly clear, 
but my power to call up words greatly impaired." 
Dr. Clarke and his lady did not recover from 
this fright for some time. He was still called 
on, even in his weakness, to preach ; and suf- 
fered no opportunity to pass in which he might 
execute the business on which his divine Mas- 
ter had sent him. 

In April of this year he visited Ireland again. 
W r hile on this visit to his native country he 
met with a very interesting incident, which 
cannot, perhaps, be better related than in the 
words of his journal. 



"April 26. — I took a walk to the grounds above 
Port Stuart, which afforded me a most grand 
prospect. While walking on the hills, I met an 
old woman, evidently a beggar, nearly in rags, 
who came up, and courtesying to me, said, 4 Is 
not your name Mr. Clarke V Yes, I am called 
Clarke ; but there are many others of that 
name, and it may be after one of them you are 
inquiring. 4 No, sir, it is yourself. Did you 
not preach many years ago at New Buildings, 
near Derry V Did you hear a person of that 
name preach there ? 4 Yes, sir, I heard you : 
but you were then very young.' Who was 
there besides you ? 4 Mr. and Mrs. Mountjoy 
and Mr. Holliday.' Who else ? 4 Betty Quige.' 
Well, where did I go to from New Buildings ? 
* Up the hill, to meet the class, and to sleep.' 
What else do you recollect ? 4 O, you held a 
meeting the next morning at five o'clock. I 
then lived servant in Mr. Mountjoy's family, 
which was several miles from New Buildings ; 
but still I was at Mr. Holliday's, where you 
preached, before five.' Thus circumstantially 
detailed to my own perfect recollection of the 
circumstances themselves, did I find that I had 
actually before me a person who heard the first 
sermon I ever attempted to preach. I gave her 
a shilling, and bade her call upon me. At the 
same time and place, I recollect a young man 
of the society said to me. 4 You are very young 
to take upon you to unravel the word.' Most 
probably this is the only person living who 
heard me first venture to explain a text, which 



was, I recollect, 1 John v, 19, £ We know that 
we are of God, and the whole world lieth in 
wickedness.' This was about the year 1780, 
or rather before, — nearly half a century ago. 
What scenes of well-tried being have I since 
passed through ! I have laboured hard to be 
useful ; I have suffered, and have not fainted ; 
but still I may truly say, I have been an un- 
profitable servant, and pray God to be merciful 
to me a sinner. May I live to grow wiser and 
better !" 

The old people who had heard him preach 
at his first starting out as a Methodist preacher 
seemed to forget that half a century had rolled 
over their heads, and they conversed with him 
in the same tone of affectionate regard with 
which they addressed him then. Many who 
were blind could not realize in their own minds 
the growth which he had attained, but still 
thought of him as the " little boy" who used to 
visit them, and convene and pray with them, 
and had come back, after a protracted absence, 
to see them again. The children participated 
in this pleasure, and regarded the doctor as one 
of the- family who had been a long time from 
home, and had just now returned. This, of 
course, was extremely gratifying to his feel- 

He reached the city of Liverpool on his re- 
turn, where he preached, as was his custom. 
In a friend's album he wrote the following lines. 
They exhibit the state of mind in which a 
Christian, whose life has been spent in labour- 



ing to promote the Redeemer's kingdom, can 
behold the approach of death. To he able, " in 
simplicity and godly sincerity," to make use of 
these words toward the close of a long life, is 
far better than to have enjoyed all the pleasures 
which a sinful world can offer, and then, when 
years and infirmities weigh down the body and 
spirit, to find nothing on which to rest a firm 
hope of the future, 

" The Seasons of Adam Clarke's Life. 

44 1 have enjoyed the spring of life— - 
I have endured the toils of its summer— - 
I have culled the fruits of its autumn— 
I am now passing through the rigours of its winter; 
And am neither forsaken of God, 
Nor abandoned by man. 

I see at no great distance the dawn of a new day, 
The first of a spring that shall be eternal * 
It is advancing to meet me ! 
I run to embrace it ! 
Welcome ! welcome ! eternal spring ! 
Hallelujah !" 
May 8, 1830. 

Dr. Clarke this year wrote and published an- 
other volume of sermons. It was always his 
custom fully to possess himself of his subject, 
and then to preach his sermons without first 
writing them. But both in preaching and 
writing his manner was so similar, that the 
reader and hearer felt that the same person 
was calling him to repentance. 




His attention to children — Passages from a conversation 
— Attention directed to Ireland — The Irish schools — Letter 
to Mr. Everett— Gives offence to the Wesleyan missionary 
committee — Their resolution — Dr. Clarke's answer — Visit 
of two gentlemen from the British museum — Starts for Ire- 
land — Turned back by a storm, 

In common conversation, Dr. Clarke united 
instruction and amusement. He relaxed his 
mind from the severity of study by mingling 
with the young, participating in their sports, 
rejoicing in their pleasure, and sympathizing 
with them in their disappointments. He check- 
ed the too sanguine expectations of youth by 
speaking of the shadows which experience had 
proved to be cast over the flattering appearance 
of untried life ; at the same time endeavouring 
to impress their minds with the advantage 
which good resolutions and energy of purpose 
gave to those who were called upon to combat 
mighty evils in an unfriendly world. 

He was peculiarly fond of children, and 
strove to inspire them with the spirit of activity, 
which had so long been the soul of all his ac- 
tions, and had prompted him to such noble and 
laborious undertakings. He taught his little 
grandchildren economy of time by keeping 
them constantly engaged while in his presence. 
To one he gave a picture-book to look over ; to 
another pieces of stone or paper to arrange on 
the floor ; while another was suffered to drive 
nails in small pieces of board with a little ham- 
mer. Thus, in the first stage of their exist- 



ence, he endeavoured to cultivate those useful 
habits which he knew would " grow with their 
growth and strengthen with their strength." 

After the hours which he usually devoted 
to study had expired, he sought in the bosom 
of his family an agreeable mental relaxation. 
Mrs. Clarke was in the habit of reading aloud 
to him, and his views on the books which were 
read, their style and sentiments, the times in 
which they were written, and all connected 
with the subject under consideration, were con- 
veyed in a manner calculated to impress the 
information on the mind. His conversation 
was spiced with interesting anecdotes, which 
always bore a good and practical moral. From 
one of his conversations, which has been pre- 
served in his larger biography, we make the 
following extract : — 

On being asked if he thought one qualified to 
write the memoirs of another person without 
an acquaintance with the individual, he replied, 
" I can answer your question thus : A French 
gentleman being once asked, 4 What do you 
think is the strongest evidence of the truth of 
Christianity V answered, 4 The four gospels.' 
4 What mean you, sir ? they may rather be con- 
sidered as the history of it.' 4 So they are, sir, 
also ; but from them it is evident that their 
author did really exist ; for no person could 
have written those accounts of Him but from a 
personal knowledge and an intimate converse 
with his actions and habits. The evangelists 
narrate things which, had they not seen, they 


would never have thought of, and throughout 
the whole four gospels they severally speak of 
our Lord in such a manner as to prove to us 
that they must have been with him, and per- 
sonally acquainted with all those passages of 
his life which they detail, or it would have been 
impossible for them to have detailed them as 
they have done : they thus bear the strongest 
evidence of the truth of their own testimony.' 
Apply that remark to the question you asked me, 
and you have my opinion and answer at once." 

In the same conversation he made a remark 
which embodied the result of his experience 
on the question of the most effectual manner 
of preaching. He remarked to his youngest 
son, a minister of the Church of England, " Jo- 
seph, after having now laboured with a clear 
conscience for the space of fifty years in preach- 
ing the salvation of God, through Christ, to 
thousands of souls, I can say, that is the most 
successful kind of preaching which exhibits 
and upholds, in the clearest and strongest light, 
the divine protection and mercy of the infinitely 
compassionate and holy God to fallen man ; 
which represents him to man's otherwise hope- 
less case as compassionate as well as just, — 
as slow to anger, as well as quick to mark ini- 
quity ; tell, then, your hearers, not only that 
the conscience must be sprinkled, but that it 
was God himself who provided a Lamb ! All 
false religions invariably endow the infinite 
Being with attributes unfavourable to the pre- 
sent condition of man, and with feelings inimical 



to their future felicity, and in opposition to their 
present good. Such descriptions and attributes 
can never win man's confidence, and, as far as 
they are used and carried into the Christian 
ministry, are a broad libel upon the Almighty." 

Although Dr. Clarke was so fond of conver- 
sation, he possessed the faculty of withdrawing 
his mind from the subjects under discussion, 
and to compose for the press, and answer letters, 
amid the noise and conversation around him ; 
and on such occasions he would only remove his 
table and writing materials aside a little, and 
sometimes, under such circumstances, was 
obliged to write concerning business of great 
importance. To one who had as extensive a 
correspondence as Dr. Clarke this was an ex- 
ceeding happy faculty. 

In the autumn of the year 1830, a friend who 
had been corresponding with Dr. Clarke for 
some time on the subject of the Shetland mis- 
sions remarked in one of his letters, " If you 
would come to the help of Ireland, as you have 
done to Shetland, what good might not be 
effected?" The doctor replied, " Here am I ; 
send me ! On the surface of the world there 
stands not a man more willing to add Ireland to 
Shetland, and serve both with all his heart and 
strength." The result of the correspondence 
on this subject led Dr. Clarke to take active 
measures to establish schools in those districts 
of his native country where they were wholly 
destitute of the means of education. 

The districts to which his attention was prin- 


cipally directed were the northern portion of 
the province of Ulster, the upper parts of the 
parish Mocosquin, and Port Rush, on the sea- 
coast of the county of Antrim. In addition to 
these, there were several other districts which 
claimed his attention. Port Rush, however, 
appeared to be the most destitute, and to this 
place he first turned his attention and efforts. 
The public works in this town caused it to 
increase rapidly in population j and there was 
no school for many miles, while vice and igno- 
rance held an almost uncontrolled sway. Dr. 
Clarke requested his friend, Rev. S. Harpur, to 
procure suitable teachers for this and other places, 
and, if possible, to select them from among 
Methodist local preachers, in order that they 
might not only be competent instructers of the 
children, but also, by their grace and endow- 
ments, be useful in promoting religious know- 
ledge among the parents. 

The county was delighted to find that such 
efficient means were about to be undertaken for 
the instruction of the children, and " came for- 
ward to hail the appearance of such a school." 
Dr. Clarke drew up a few rules, and sent them, 
with funds to defray the initiatory expenses, 
to his friend, Mr. Harpur. The need of a 
school-house presented a difficulty in the very 
commencement of the work. The plan was to 
afford gratuitous instruction to the poor, with 
the understanding that they were to procure a 
place in which to have the children taught. 
The people assembled themselves together, and 



no bouse being found, and it being the depth 
of winter, they knew not what to do. For fear 
of losing the instruction so generously offered, 
they proposed to occupy a place dug out of a 
sand-pit. A gentleman in the neighbourhood 
saw that this was an improper place, and im- 
mediately offered his parlour and the adjoining 
room, until a more suitable situation could be 
procured. This offer was gladly accepted, and 
the school went into operation on the first day 
of January, 1831. Thirty children were ad- 
mitted then, and the number increased daily, 
notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather ; 
and in two months' time the number amounted 
to ninety. 

Children who had been so neglected could 
not be otherwise than untractable. They were 
extremely rough in their manners, and their 
morals so vitiated that but few of them could 
utter a single sentence which was not accom- 
panied by an oath. Of course, he who under- 
took to teach such a school had need of all 
patience and great discrimination. The pious 
endeavours of the prudent teacher soon improved 
tbe state of their minds and morals, broke them 
off from their evil habits, and brought them to 
decency of appearance and deportment. 

The great interest which Dr. Clarke felt in 
these schools prompted him to enlist the zeal 
of his friends in the cause. That he was 
greatly successful may be learned from his 
•correspondence about that time. His generous 
friend, Mr. Scott, came up nobly to his help in 



this charity ; and Miss Birch, who had ever 
been liberal in her donations to the Shetland 
mission, sent him £100 for the Irish schools, 
and £50 for the long-neglected Shetlanders. 
With this assistance he was enabled to go on in 
his " labours of love" with great alacrity and zeal. 

The following extract is from a letter ad- 
dressed by Dr. Clarke to his friend, Mr. James 
Everett* of Manchester. It is too interestmcr 
to be omitted ; it exhibits the feeling, of an old 
soldier near the close of the battle. 

* Dec. 21, Jive o'clock, A.M., £ 
shortest day in 18 SO. $ 
" Dear Everett, — In the name of God ! 
Amen. About threescore and ten of such short 
days have I seen, and as my time in the course 
of nature, as it is called, is now ended, (for 
the above period is its. general limit,) I need to 
have little to do, as my age is at the longest,, 
and this day is the shortest I may ever see , 
yet I have never fallen out with life : I have 
borne, many of its rude blasts, and I have been 
fostered with many of its finest breezes ; and 
should I complain against time and the dis- 
pensations of Providence then shame would be 
to me ! Indeed, if God see it right, I have no 
objection to live on hereto the day of judgment ; 
for while the earth lasts there will be something 
to do by a heart, head, and hand like mine, — 
as long as there is something to be learned, 

* Author of the Village Blacksmith, and some other very 
interesting works. — Eds. 



something to be sympathetically felt, and some- 
thing to be done. I have not lived to, or for 
myself — I am not conscious to myself that I 
have ever passed one such day. My fellow- 
creatures were the subjects of my deepest 
meditations, and the objects of my most earnest 
attention. God never needed my services. He 
brought me into the world that I might receive 
good from him, and do good to my fellows. 
This is God's object in reference to all human 
beings ; and should be the object of every man 
in reference to his brother. This is the whole 
of my practical creed. God in his love gave 
me a being ; in his mercy he has done every 
thing he should do to make it a well-being; 
has taught me to love him by first loving me ; 
and has taught me to love my neighbour as 
myself, by inspiring me with his own love* 
Therefore my grand object, in all my best and 
most considerable moments, is to live to get 
good from God, that I may do good to my fel- 
lows ; and this alone is the way in which man 
can glorify his Maker. Perhaps a man of a 
cold heart and uncultivated head might say in 
looking into the articles of his faith, * This may 
be the creed of an infidel, of a deist, or a natural 
religionist. 5 I say, No. No such person ever 
had such a creed, or ever can have it. It is 
in and through the almighty Jesus alone that 
the all-binding, all-persuading, all-constraining, 
and all-pervading love of God to man was ever 
known ; and to me it is a doubt whether there was, 
is, or can be, any other way in which God him- 



self could or can make it known to the compound 
being, man. Jesus the Christ incarnated ; Jesus 
the Christ crucified ; Jesus the Christ dying for 
our offences, and rising again for our justifica- 
tion ; Jesus, sending forth the all-pervading, 
all-refining, and all-purifying light and energy 
of his Holy Spirit, has revealed the secret, and 
accomplished the purpose of that God whose 
name is mercy and whose nature is love. 

" O, thou incomprehensible Jehovah, thou 
eternal Word, thou ever-during and all-pervading 
Spirit — Father! Son! and Holy Ghost ! in the 
plenitude of thy eternal Godhead, in thy light, 
I, in a measure, see thee ; and in thy conde- 
scending nearness to my nature I can love thee, 
for thou hast loved me. In thy strength may I 
begin, continue, and end every design and every 
work, so as to glorify thee by showing how 
much thou lovest man, and how much man may 
be ennobled and beatified by loving THEE ! O, 
my Everett, here am I fixed, here am I lost, 
and here I find my God, and here I find myself! 
But whither do I run, or rather push ? when I 
sat down to write, not one word of what is 
written was designed. I only intended to write 
a little on a subject in which you had so kindly 
interested yourself, in order to render the last 
days of your aged brother a little more com- 
fortable by enabling him to continue in a little 
usefulness to the end \ — not rusting, but wearing 



Early in 1831 he received a letter from Rev. 
William Case, one of the Methodist mission- 
aries in Upper Canada. The bearer of the let- 
ter was the native Indian preacher, Peter 
Jones, a chief of the Chippewa tribe of In- 
dians, and perhaps known to many of the read- 
ers of this biography. Previously to his going 
to England he travelled extensively throughout 
the United States. He carried with him some 
portion of the New Testament translated into 
the Chippewa language, in order to present it 
to the British and Foreign Bible Society for 
publication : in addition to which he had an 
elementary work for the mission schools, which 
contained almost one thousand five hundred 
words in the Indian language, with their signi- 
fication in English. Another object of Peter 
Jones' visit to England was to collect money, 
in order to supply many fields of labour which 
were in a destitute condition. 

As soon as the spring brought weather suffi- 
ciently mild for the purpose. Dr. Clarke started 
for Ireland, in order to visit his schools. At 
Port Stuart he found the children extremely 
poor and only half clothed, but clean and well 
behaved. They had been brought under the 
restraint of discipline, had left off their bad 
practices and learned their prayers. The teach- 
er seemed exceedingly attached to the chil- 
dren, and the children manifested love and re- 
verence for him. Altogether, the decorum and 
proper behaviour of these children were ex- 
tremely commendable and encouraging. A 



difficulty was still felt in the want of a proper 
place in which to conduct the exercises. 

The visit of Dr. Clarke to the school in the 
parish of Mocosquin was wholly unexpected, 
but he found every scholar engaged in study ; 
even infants of four and five years of age were 
diligently employed in learning the alphabet. 
The school at that time numbered one hundred 
and eight. In addition to this prospering and 
increasing school, a sabbath school had been 
established in the place, and had already about 
one hundred scholars in it. The greatest in- 
terest was shown all over the country in the 
establishment of these schools. The wealthy 
came forward with a zeal that almost amounted 
to rivalry, in furnishing places to have the 
schools occupy ; and the poor embraced the 
offered instruction with an avidity that resem- 
bled the greediness of persons starving for lack 
of food. 

Dr. Clarke laboured for the firm establish- 
ment of these schools, and united to his efforts 
in this cause almost continual preaching. 
While he was scattering, he was also gather- 
ing. In his journal he makes a remark which 
ought to be impressed deeply on the minds of 
all young people : " I desire to learn something 
from all, and live for the many. My old maxim 
seldom fails me ; to make it a point to learn 
something from every person with whom I am 
called upon to associate. I watch for such 
opportunities ; and whenever any conversation 
takes place where the speakers have occasion 



to call up any thing in which character or self- 
interest is concerned, they speak in character, 
and the depth of the mind, and the state of the 
heart, may be often correctly ascertained, and 
some point of useful knowledge gained, not 
only in reference to the subject itself, but to 
the spirit and temper in which it is defended 
or opposed." 

Previously to Dr. Clarke's formation of his 
schools in Ireland, the Wesleyan Missionary 
Society had established schools, which were 
occasionally visited by their school superin- 
tendent. There was no connection between 
the six schools under Dr. Clarke's general 
supervision and those established by the Wes- 
leyan Missionary Society. He did no more 
than take the management of schools which 
were offered, not sought. It appears, however, 
that some uneasiness was felt by the society, 
and manifested in the following resolution, 
passed by the Methodist missionary committee 
June 8, 1831 : — 

" It having been stated that Dr. Clarke has 
established schools in Ireland, and is making 
applications for their support to various friends, 
the committee cannot but regret that, as the 
schools in Ireland are carried on under its di- 
rection, and may at any time be extended by 
the increase of its funds, a separate application 
should be made to our friends for the support 
of separate mission schools in that country, 
without any authority or consultation. They 



therefore request the conference to consider the 
case and advise accordingly. 

" (Signed) James Townley." 

The propriety of Dr. Clarke's thus seeming 
to interfere with the operations of the mission- 
ary committee might be questioned, were it not 
known that an application was made to them to 
know if they would establish schools in the 
places specified, and the answer was that they 
would not, as Ireland had already received its due 
proportion of the funds applied to the general 
mission work. Moreover, those under Dr. 
Clarke's charge were not mission schools, but 
charity schools, for the support of which he had 
not applied to one of the friends of the missionary 
committee, there being but three supporters of 
the schools, one of whom he had never seen. 
Although this resolution was not sent to Dr. 
Clarke officially, yet as the conference saw fit 
to send him a copy, he returned the following 
general answer the next day : — 

" Eastcott, June 11, 1831. 
" Dear Dr. Townley, — If, before you had 
so strangely undertaken to direct 1 the confer- 
ence to advise you' what to do to or with me, 
for having ' established separate mission schools 
in Ireland, and made application to several of 
our friends for their support,' you had taken any 
pains to inquire as to the facts you have stated, 
you would never have formed the resolution 
you have just sent to me. Your whole founda- 
tion is either perfectly false, or misconceived ; 



and you would have seen that, far from having 
cause of ' regret/ you would have found that 
you had cause to thank God that your long- 
tried, faithful old servant was not yet dead, but 
was, with a Methodist heart, doing a Methodist 
work, to God's glory, and the good of those for 
whom in your official capacity you also labour. 
Yours truly, Adam Clarke." 

The doctor did not suspend his labours for 
the Irish schools, but " by word and deed" en- 
deavoured as much as possible to promote their 
success. At his decease they were all trans- 
ferred by his family and executors to the Wes- 
leyan missionary committee, who cheerfully 
received them, and have endeavoured to have 
them carried on in the manner proposed by 
Dr. Clarke himself. 

In a letter written to one of his daughters, 
dated August 7, 1831, he informs her that he 
was obliged to visit Ireland again, in order to 
see about his schools. In the same note he 
speaks of the visit of two gentlemen belonging 
to the British museum to Haydon Hall, in or- 
der to see his copy of the original Wiclif Bible. 
They were astonished to behold in Dr. Clarke's 
library the finest private collection of MSS. 
they had ever seen, and the best copy of the 
black-letter Bible to be found in the kingdom ; 
and dropped several broad hints that such a 
rare collection should, by some means, become 
national property. All these had been procured 
by Dr. Clarke's untiring industry and perse- 



verance, and belonged to the individual who 
arrived at Kings wood school in his boyhood 
with only three pence halfpenny with which to 
begin his education. 

It appears that Dr. Clarke started for Ire- 
land in August, but the weather was so. stormy 
that when he reached Liverpool his friends 
dissuaded him from venturing to sea during 
such tempestuous weather. A great part of 
Liverpool had been inundated by the floods 
that accompanied the storm, and a steam 
packet which was out perished, only about 
thirty out of one hundred and fifty passengers 
being saved. Fearing that his family would be 
uneasy respecting him, Dr. Clarke took the first 
return coach, in order to assure them, as soon 
as possible, of his own personal safety. 


Dr. Clarke is desired to become a supernumerary 

Declines — Is so made by the conference — Effect upon him 
— Feelings before entering the pulpit — Attachment to do- 
mestic pleasures — Death of Mr. Baynes — Accident — Death 
of Mr. Scott — Letter to the New-York Methodist Mission- 
ary Society — Delivers anniversary sermons — Goes to Ire- 
land — Confined with the rheumatism — Mr. T. Clarke starts 
to bring him back — Meets with an accident — Dr. Clarke 
starts to return — Taken sick — Cholera spreads — Dr. Clarke 
arrives at home. , 


The circuit on which Dr. Clarke had been 
labouring desired greatly to retain him longer 
than the rules of the Wesleyan connection al- 
lowed, and in order to do so, wished him to take 


a supernumerary relation to the church. This 
course was entirely repugnant to his feelings. 
He desired, if it pleased the Lord, " to cease 
at once to work and live !" During the session 
of the stationing committee, a letter was sent to 
Dr. Clarke, stating the request of the Hinde- 
street circuit, and asking him to inform the 
committee what were his own wishes on the 
subject. In reply to this letter Dr. Clarke 
wrote, informing them that it was his desire 
still to be continued on the travelling list. His 
own words are, f I did not go out of my own 
accord; I dreaded the call, and I obeyed through 
much fear and trembling, not daring to refuse, 
because I felt the hand of God mighty upon 
me : I knew the case of Jonah, and dreaded 
the transaction of Tarshish. I will not 


cannot do full work, yet I can do some." In- 
deed he declared most emphatically, " If no 
place is open for me here, (though I might de- 
mand, I will not,) / shall rather travel in the 
keen blasts, over the mountains, hills, and bogs 
of Derry and Antrim., than set myself down as a 
supernumerary in any place in ImmanueVs land 9 
even in its whole length and breadth, at least for 
the present year? 

It was rather an unhappy circumstance that 
in the very face of this declared decision of 
Dr. Clarke's judgment and feelings, the Wes- 
leyan conference had him put down as a su- 
pernumerary. That he felt that he had " been 
ill treated in tfre work which God had called 


him to, and which Mr. Wesley with his own 
hands had confirmed him in," was plainly- 
shown by his actions and his own words. 
When he found how it was, he returned the 
paper containing the annuity granted to super- 
annuated preachers upon their becoming such, 
and requested his name to be left off of the next 
preachers' plan. He did not, however, farther 
suffer this circumstance to deter him from his 
work, or influence his actions in his ministerial 
labours ; but as often as his infirmities permitted, 
attended to the many calls which were sent 
him to preach in behalf of religious and bene- 
volent institutions. 

His age and weakness did not permit him 
to do more than to preach what are generally 
called "occasional sermons," for charitable pur- 
poses. He was, however, kept rather busy in 
attending to these, and often remarked to his 
family, " I am really tired and ashamed of this 
constant system of begging : it taxes heavily 
many of my friends who follow me from cha- 
pel to chapel, and I have now rarely the oppor- 
tunity of preaching the word of life free, with- 
out the perpetual horse-leech cry, • Give ! 
give !' " 

Before entering upon the solemn and import- 
ant duties of the pulpit, Dr. Clarke was very 
reserved, even to his most intimate friends. So 
deeply absorbed was he, by the momentous 
business in which he was about to be engaged, 
that he did not suffer things of a temporal and 
trivial nature to obtrude themselves upon his 



attention. He was generally so accessible, 
that to those who were not acquainted with this 
peculiarity his manner at such times was seem- 
ingly cold. The responsibility rested with great 
weight upon his mind, and he dared not mingle 
the concerns of eternity with the thoughts of 
time. This feeling, doubtless, imparted to all 
his discourses that peculiar unction which they 
possessed ; and the warm stream of earnest 
and affectionate exhortation which flowed from 
the heart of the speaker could not fail to reach 
the heart of the hearer. 

Dr. Clarke never suffered any cares, or any 
business, to interfere with domestic engage- 
ments. The love he felt for his home and its 
pleasant associations was a strong character- 
istic of his conduct. The greatest delight, of 
a temporal nature, which he at any time en- 
joyed, was in the midst of his family, surround- 
ed by his children, and administering to their 
comfort and pleasure. Being acquainted with 
the peculiar taste and habit of all around him, 
he entered into their feelings and interest so 
perfectly as to seem lost in his solicitude to 
increase their convenience and happiness. In 
his conversation, amusement and religious in- 
struction were so perfectly blended as to lose 
their distinctive characters, and an important 
moral has thus often been deeply impressed 
upon the mind by its connection with the rela- 
tion of some pleasing incident or narrative. 

Early in 1832 Dr. Clarke was called to stand by 
the death-bed of his friend, Mr. William Baynes, 


who had been for years his bookseller, and who 
expressed a desire, as soon as he was taken ill, 
to have Dr. Clarke sent for. He found Mr. 
Baynes in a happy frame of mind and in a glo- 
rious state for heaven. He expressed a strong 
confidence in God, and spoke much of Christ 
and glory. The doctor prayed with him, and 
commending him and his family to the protec- 
tion of God he left him, in order to reach home 
that afternoon. 

The coach in which he rode was full out- 
side, and inside had one more than it could 
conveniently accommodate. The night was 
dark and foggy, and the driver had no lamps. 
On the road the carriage was overturned, the 
baggage and outside passengers thrown into 
the ditch, part of the coach stove in, and three 
persons thrown upon Dr. Clarke, under whose 
weight he had to lie ten minutes before he 
could be relieved. His right shoulder was 
bruised, and he suffered considerably from be- 
ing trampled upon while in the stage. In ad- 
dition to this, he was obliged to stand in the 
mud for an hour, exposed to the shower of rain 
which was falling. He took his travelling bag 
at length and walked over to Harrow, where 
he was refused admittance into a house where 
he knocked, and was obliged to walk to Pinner. 
When he reached that place he was extremely 
unwell, but the man at the inn was kind enough 
to take him in his gig and drive him to his 

Not long after he reached his family he re- 


ceived a letter from his friend, Mr. Scott, who 

was quite ill, and desired greatly to see him. 

This gentleman had ever been a devoted friend 

to the Shetland mission, and was accustomed 

to give £100 yearly to the general support of 

the missionaries, £10 to every new chapel, 

and many o.ther such helps in the time of their 

need. Dr. Clarke found his friend in great 

peace of mind, and waiting for the call of his 

Lord. He expressed his feelings in the good 

old verse : — 

" Not a cloud doth arise to darken the skies, 
Or hide for a moment the Lord from my eyes ;" 

and he was looking incessantly upward to the 
bright sun of God's perfections. 

He had long been familiar with the Scrip- 
tures and with the doctrines of Christianity, 
and his extensive benevolent operations showed 
how much his soul was filled with the spirit of 
Christian love. The last act of his life was to 
make payment of his usual donation to the 
Shetland cause. The half-yearly instalment of 
£50 was then due, and he exhibited great un- 
easiness, and endeavoured to turn his face to- 
ward his writing table. Dr. Clarke, observing 
this, moved the easy chair in which he was 
sitting so as to place him near the desk, and 
gave him the writing implements. Mrs. Scott, 
seeing what he wished, laid his check-book 
before him, and he said, " I want to give Dr. 
Clarke my last check, for the great work of 
God in Shetland.'' Mrs. Scott filled up the 
blank for £50, and placed it before him to sign. 


He attempted this several times, although the 
doctor tried to persuade him to desist. At 
length he wrote something like Jhis name, but it 
was in the wrong place. Mrs. Scott, at her 
husband's desire, rilled up another, and he be- 
gan anew. After trying to write for about an 
hour he succeeded in making the letters of his 
name, " Robert Scott," and handed the paper 
to his friend, with this remark : " Here, Dr. 
Clarke, here is my last act, and this is for the 
work of God in Shetland ; I send it to heaven 
for acceptance, and the inhabitants will see 
from the writing that I shall be soon after." 

After this closing act of his life he leaned 
himself back, and sighed out, " Glory, glory 
be to God for his astonishing love to such a 
worthless worm ! O, God is love, and he that 
dwelleth in love dwelleth in God." To the hour 
in which he exchanged mortality for eternal 
life he expressed continued reliance on God, 
and peace through the blood of the Lamb. Dr. 
Clarke kneeled by his bedside, with his wife 
and several relatives, and offered up a prayer 
that he might be blessed with an easy passage. 
And it was so. " When he breathed his last 
scarcely any one shed tears. The victory over 
death .was evident and complete, and every 
heart was absorbed in heavenly feeling." He 
died on the 21st of January, 1832, in the eighty- 
fifth year of his age. 

At the close of his life, while he remembered 
several other great and important religious in- 
stitutions, he did not forget the Shetland mis- 



sion, but left it three thousand pounds in his 
will. In writing to his family immediately upon 
the demise of Mr. Scott, Dr. Clarke observed, 
" / seem to have come here in order to learn to 

About this time he received a letter from the 
board of managers of the Missionary Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, dated 
New- York, December 23, 1831, inviting him 
to visit America, and give the assistance of 
his presence and counsel to their operations. 
As his reply to this letter is very interesting, 
we shall give it entire : — 

$ To Doctors and Messrs. J. Emory, B. Waugh, 
N. Bangs, F. Hall, and G. Suckley. 

"February 6, 1832. 
" Gentlemen and Rev. Brethren, — Having 
been absent in the west of England for a con- 
siderable time, your letter did not reach my 
hand till some weeks after its arrival. Your 
kind invitation to visit the United States was 
gratifying to me, and had I been apprized of 
your intentions a few months earlier, I should 
most certainly have endeavoured to have met 
your wishes, and by so doing I have no doubt 
I should have been both gratified and profited. 
But the warning is too short, and I am engaged 
so far both in England and Ireland in behalf of 
our missionary cause that I cannot by any sub- 
stitute redeem those pledges. I had proposed 
also to visit the Shetland isles if possible ; but 
as I had not pledged myself to this voyage, I 



could have waived my purpose in favour of 
America, to visit which I have been long wait- 
ing an opening of Providence : I might add, 
that I should have wished to have the appoint- 
ment of our conference for the voyage. 

" Now, although I feel a measure of regret 
that I am disappointed in this wished-for visit to 
the American continent, yet I am far from sup- 
posing that there may not be a providential in- 
terference in the way. I am, as no doubt you 
have already learned, an old man, having gone 
beyond f threescore years and ten,' and con- 
sequently not able to perform the labour of 
youth. You would naturally expect me to 
preach much, and this I could not do. One 
sermon in the day generally exhausts me, and 
I have been obliged to give up all evening 
preaching, as i found the night air to be injuri- 
ous to my health. My help, therefore, must 
have been very limited, and in many cases this 
would have been very unsatisfactory to the 
good people of the United States. This diffi- 
culty, I grant, might have been supplied by an 
able assistant, who might have been inclined to 
accompany me ; but even this would not have 
satisfied the eye or ear of curiosity. But as 
the journey is now impracticable,, these reflec- 
tions are useless. 

" I respect, I wish well to your state, and I 
love your church. As far as I can discern, you 
are close imitators of the original Methodists,, 
(than whom a greater blessing has not been 
given to the British nation since the Reforma- 



tion,) holding the same doctrines, and acting 
under the same discipline ; therefore have you 
prospered, as we have prospered. There is no 
danger so imminent both to yourselves and to 
us, as departing from our original simplicity in 
spirit, in manners, and in our mode of worship. 
As the world is continually changing around us 
we are liable to be affected by these changes. 
We think, in many cases, that we may please 
well intentioned men better, and be more use- 
ful to them, by permitting many of the more 
innocent forms of the world to enter into the 
church ; wherever we have done so we have 
infallibly lost ground in the depth of our reli- 
gion, and in its spirituality and unction. I 
would say to all, Keep your doctrines and your 
discipline, not only in your church books and 
your society rules, but preach the former with- 
out refining upon them, — observe the latter, 
without lending it to circumstances, or impair- 
ing its vigour by frivolous exceptions and par- 

"As I believe your nation is destined to be 
the mightiest and happiest nation of the globe, 
so I believe that your church is likely to be- 
come the most extensive and pure in the uni- 
verse. As a church, abide in the apostles' doc- 
trine and fellowship. 

" As a nation be firmly united ; entertain no 
petty differences ; — totally abolish the slave 
trade ; abhor all offensive wars ; never provoke 
even the puniest state ; and never strike the 
first blow. Encourage agriculture and friendly 



traffic. Cultivate the sciences and arts ; let 
learning have its proper place, space, and ade- 
quate share of esteem and honour ; — if possi- 
ble, live in peace with all nations ; retain your 
holy zeal for God's cause and your country's 
weal ; and that you may ever retain your liber- 
ty, avoid, as a bane and ruin, a national debt. 
I say to you, as it was said to Rome of old, — 

* Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento, 
Hae tibi emnt artes pacisque imponere morem, 
Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.' 

" But whither am I running ? Truly, truly, do 
I wish you good luck in the name of the Lord, 
and, therefore, with my best prayers for your 
civil and religious prosperity, and hearty thanks 
to each of you individually for the handsome 
and honourable manner in which you have 
framed your invitation, I have the honour to be, 
gentlemen and reverend brethren, your obliged, 
humble servant, and most cordial well-wisher, 

" Adam Clarke." 

On the 25th of the following March, Dr. 
Clarke was called upon to fulfil a promise 
which he had made many years before to Dr. 
Hawes, to preach for the Royal Humane So- 
ciety. He delivered the discourse from John 
v, 25. It should also be stated, that about this 
time he accepted an invitation from the Wes- 
leyan missionary committee to preach for them 
in London. The prompt manner in which he 
accepted the invitation shows that all painful 
feeling which he might have had, on account 



of the passing of the " resolution" relative to his 
Irish schools, had wholly left his mind. 

As the spring came on, Dr. Clarke felt a de- 
sire to visit his Irish schools again ; and we 
find from his diary that he left Liverpool for 
Ireland on Friday, May 18th, and arrived at 
Donaghadee on the next morning, and reached 
his friend Harpur's in safety. While here he 
became very much indisposed, and on the fol- 
lowing Thursday was obliged to call in a 
physician. A severe attack of the rheumatism 
in his ankle prevented him from attending to 
appointments which he otherwise would have 
filled. This indisposition so increased, that he 
was hindered from attending to the active pro- 
jects in behalf of Ireland which he proposed 
to himself when he started on his journey. He 
employed himself, during his confinement, in 
drawing up rules for the government, and plans 
for the support, of the schools. To a person of 
Dr. Clarke's active habits, confinement must 
have been peculiarly afflicting ; yet the kind- 
ness of Mr. Harpur's family, and the attention 
of their amiable physician, removed, in a great 
degree, the pain which he felt in being obliged 
to relinquish his active operations, and to re- 
main in his chamber apparently almost useless. 
He felt, however, resigned to the will of Pro- 

His pain abated on June 2d, and with the 
little strength which he had remaining he 
started for Belfast. He remained here a day 
or two, and then left for Antrim ; but being 




unable to preach there, he went on to Coleraine, 
accompanied by his friends, Mr. and Miss 
Harpur. He spent some time, on the day after 
his arrival, in attending to business relative to 
the schools ; but the exertion was too much for 
him, and in the evening he was obliged to take 
to his bed again. 

The cholera had at this time reached Liver- 
pool, and all the community were labouring 
under terror. Dr. Clarke feared that he should 
not only be confined temporarily with indispo- 
sition, but lest he should be ultimately laid up 
so far away from his family. He was at this 
time with his friend, Mr. M'Alwaine. The 
principal part of his distress, as he expressed 
himself in writing to Mrs. Harpur, was more 
on account of others than on his own account ; 
and for their sakes he desired to be restored to 

As soon as the family of Dr. Clarke learned 
the state of his health, his second son, Theo- 
doret, started from London for Ireland, in order 
to bring his father home as soon as it could be 
done with safety. The coach in which he 
took his passage happened to be unusually 
loaded, and a box was so placed that it prevented 
him from sitting erect. He complained of this 
inconvenience, and at the next stage it was 
removed, and swung on the side on which he 
was sitting. Before daylight in the morning, 
as they were passing down a hill, the coach was 
overturned on that very side, and the passengers 
were thrown off, Mr. Clarke undermost. The 


iron bar of the coach-box pressed upon one of 
his legs, which would have been shattered had 
it not been for this box, which prevented the 
coach from coming entirely to the ground. Mr. 
Clarke was carried to Birmingham, and a sur- 
geon immediately employed. It was impossible 
for him to proceed on his journey, and intelli- 
gence was despatched to the family, informing 
them of his state. 

Dr. Clarke was not aware of the fact that his 
son had started from London, and in the mean 
time visited Port Rush and Port Stuart, in order 
to look a little after the schools at those places. 
On the 15th of June he received a letter, in- 
forming him of his son's departure from the 
metropolis, and giving him a hope of meeting 
him on the following evening. The next day, 
however, brought him another, stating the ac- 
cident which had befallen Mr. Clarke. 

His journal for that day thus records his 
feelings : — " I have just received a letter from 
the Swan Hotel, Birmingham, stating that my 
son, on his way from London to Liverpool, was 
upset at Leamington, and now, bruised and 
wounded, is laid up at the hotel. Alas ! alas ! 
and I do not know the extent of this evil ; but, 
unfit as I am to undertake this journey and 
voyage, I will set off for Belfast, and take the 
first vessel there for England. O may God in 
his mercy interfere in this behalf! Spare the 
life of my son ! and give me strength for the 
journey and voyage before me ! O what a pro- 
vidence is this ! May God work in his mercy, 


and silence any irregular feelings or complaints 
in my soul ! Show me, show me, O God, the 
way that I should take ! O let me not be laid 
up again, either by sea or land !" 

On the 20th of June he left Coleraine for 
Belfast, where he took passage in a steam- 
vessel for Liverpool, at which place he arrived 
in the afternoon of the 22d, and crossing the 
river Mersey, arrived at his friend's, Mr. and 
Mrs. Forshaw, where he was again laid up. 

His indisposition increased here, and he was 
confined for several days. He occupied his 
time by reading and writing, and making re- 
marks on what he saw and read. 

The news from Liverpool, while he was on 
his journey thither, was of the most dismal na- 
ture. Cases of the cholera were increasing 
daily, and the fear which it excited had caused 
business to come nearly to a stand. On June 
28th forty-nine cases occurred, and a third ship 
with emigrants was put back with the cholera 
on board. Dr. Clarke prosecuted his journey, 
and reached home on the 2d of July, and found 
his son Theodoret recovering, and the rest of 
the family well. 

Thus terminated this afflictive journey, but 
during his detention and sufferings the doctor 
neither murmured nor repined. He trusted in 
Providence, and knew that God would do all 
things well : the feelings of his heart were ex- 
pressed in these words : " Into thy hands, O 
Lord, I commit my spirit ." He thus concludes 
his journal : — " The cholera was before me, 


behind me, around about me, but I was pre- 
served from all dread. I trusted in the sacri- 
ficial death of Jesus ; no trust is higher ; and 
none lower can answer the end : therefore I 
was not divided between two opinions or two 
creeds. If Christianity be not true, there is 
no religion upon earth, for no other religion is 
worth a rush to man's salvation ; if we have 
not redemption in Jesus there is no other Sa- 
viour ! If not justified through his blood, and 
sanctified by his Spirit, there is no final happi- 
ness. But there is a Christ, there is redemp- 
tion through his blood. I have this redemp- 
tion, and I am waiting for the fulness of the 
blessing of the gospel of Jesus. I feel a simple 
heart : the prayers of my childhood are yet 
precious to me, and the simple hymns which I 
sung when a child I sing now with unction 
and delight, 4 for me to live is Christ, and to die 
is gain. 7 * 

Although Dr. Clarke was so much detained 
by illness, yet he found enough during his stay 
in Ireland to encourage him in the good work. 
The accounts which he received from the 
teachers led him to believe that much good 
had been done, and that much good would be 
done. The Holy Scriptures were almost uni- 
versally read, and the Catholics themselves 
seemed not to have the slightest objection. 



Appearance on his return from Ireland — Goes to Liverpool 
to attend conference — Delivers the annual sermon — Resigns 
Shetland to the conference — His roving commission — Goes 
to Frome — Extracts from his speech there — Meets one of his 
earliest hearers — Goes to Weston — Returns home — Great 
calamity in Shetland — Undertakes to write the memoir of 
Rev. T. Roberts — His kindness to a poor widow — Starts 
for Bayswater — Taken with the cholera — Bis last hours. 

When Dr. Clarke returned from Ireland, his 
weakness and prostration were apparent. His 
remarks to his daughter Mary Ann showed that 
he felt his state : " See," said he, " Mary, how 
the strong man has bowed himself, for strong 
he was, but it is God who has brought him 
down, and he can raise him up ; he still owns 
the word which I preach ; he still continues 
my influence among the people, and hence it is 
plain he has other work for me to do. I have 
never fallen out with life, but I have often fallen 
out with myself, because I have not spent it 
better ; to remedy this I should be glad, with 
my present knowledge and experience, to live 
life over again. I do not admire the thought 

* Life does little more supply 
Than just to look about us, and lo die.' 

This sentiment, practically regarded, would be 
the creed of the sluggard and the coward. No ; 
there is in life much to be done, much to be 
learned, and much to be suffered : we should 
live in time in reference to eternity. This I 
know, God's mercy has had a great deal to do 



to bring us thus far ; it will have more to do to 
bring us to the verge of the eternal world ; and 
it will have most of all to bring us to glory." 

Dr. Clarke felt a great desire to be present 
at the conference of 1832, which was held in 
Liverpool. To this the family most strenuously 
objected, as the state of his health was so pre- 
carious as to threaten a fatal issue unless he 
abstained from his labours for a season. His 
great desire to be present at another meeting 
of his brethren, and do something for his be- 
loved Shetland, prompted him to undertake the 
fatigue of the journey, and he accordingly 
started. At Liverpool he found that the cho- 
lera was raging, and that some of his friends 
were falling victims to this great pestilential 

During the session of the conference he was 
called upon to deliver the annual sermon, Ete 
at first refused on account of his weakness, but 
at length he yielded to the earnest solicitations 
of the officers. He now gave up the Shetland 
mission into the hands of the conference, with 
the trustship of .£3000, which Mr. Scott had 
left in his will, and the .£400 which he had 
received from Miss Sophia Ward. 

At this conference he was finally set down 
as supernumerary, and stationed at Windsor, 
with the following note attached to his name :— 
" Though Dr. Clarke is set down supernumerary 
for Windsor, he is not bound to that circuit, but 
is most respectfully and affectionately requested 
to visit all parts of our connection, and labour 


according to his strength and convenience.* 
This he called his " roving corrmnssion" 

Dr. Clarke went immediately from the con- 
ference to visit his youngest son, Rev. J. B. B, 
Clarke, at Frome, in Somersetshire f to assist 
him in conducting a public meeting for the 
purpose of establishing a " District Visiting So- 
ciety." With a great deal of pains and labour 
his son had succeeded in eliciting the attention 
of the public, and in enlisting the influence of 
men of rank in this very benevolent undertaking, 
When the doctor met his son he remarked, as 
he placed his hand on his head and kissed him, 
" The old man, you see, Joseph, is come ; though 
battered and tossed about, he has still strength 
to come at the call of his son." Although it 
was obvious that his health was materially 
affected, his usual kindness of manner and 
cheerfulness of disposition still remained with 
him. And yet his cheerfulness was accom- 
panied with blandness, and mildness, and 
sanctity. He appeared as one who was not 
preparing, but had already been prepared, for a 
higher state of existence, — his joy was so pure, 
— his kindness so heartfelt, — his piety so in- 
tense, — his manners and voice so expressive 
of inward peace. 

On the morning of the public meeting he 
arose, improved in his feelings, having some- 
what recovered from the fatigue of his journey. 
On the platform he took his station, as usual, 
behind the front ranks, and awaited his appointed 
time to speak. It happened that the resolution 



which he was expected to advocate had not 
been handed to him. When he was announced, 
he arose, and with a smiling countenance and 
open hands, he thus addressed the marquis of 
Bath, who presided at the meeting: " My lord, 
I have been summoned from far to recom- 
mend and support the objects of this society ; 
but I find myself in rather an awkward situation; 
expected to make a speech, and not a line given 
me as a foundation for observation, or as a peg 
on which to hang a speech." The oversight 
was instantly remedied by furnishing him with 
a copy of the resolution. 

His address on this occasion was one of 
unusual vigour and effect, and the whole assem- 
bly seemed to listen to him as to a friend and not 
to a stranger. A few extracts of this perform- 
ance, which were taken down soon after the 
delivery, are well worthy of preservation. In 
the course of his speech he remarked, — " When 
I came forth, my lord, among my fellows as a 
public minister, I felt the importance of not 
making any man my model, and not taking any 
peculiar creed as the standard of my faith. As 
I was to explain and enforce Scripture on my 
own responsibility, I resolved that all should 
be the result of my own examination. The 
Scriptures, therefore, I read through repeatedly 
in their primitive languages, with all the col- 
lateral helps of ancient tongues which I could 
command ; I analyzed, compared, sifted, and 
arranged ; I stretched my intellect to its widest 
grasp of comprehension, to understand the 



nature and attributes of God, together with the 
reasons and demands of his word. But there 
was a necessity that all should be reduced to 
some kind of creed ; that it should not be a 
scattered host of unconnected thoughts, but a 
combined and irrefragably deduced series of 
incontrovertible doctrine, agreeing with truth 
and fitted for use. This compelled me to 
arrange my particulars into generals, to con- 
centrate my forces, and call in my stragglers ; 
nor did I ever cease thus to condense my creed 
till I had reduced its several parts under the 
two grand heads, Love to God, and love to 


" Here I found that I had a rule to which I 
could refer all my conceptions of the great and 
holy God, and all my endeavours for the wel- 
fare of mankind ; it was a creed of practice, 
and not of theory, capable of being drawn into 
use at a moment's notice ; and, under the influ- 
ence of that short creed, love to God and 
love to man, I began that society, in a great 
measure similar to this, the well-known, far- 
spread, and long-tried Strangers' Friend Society" 

In this part of his speech he uttered a 
sentence, the conclusion of which seemed like 
the prediction of prophecy; and it was pro- 
nounced with such a " calm glow of wrapp'd 
devotion," that it reached the hearts of all in 
the large assembly which he was addressing. 
Speaking of the various grades of society and 
ranks which were engaged in the support of 
the association, he remarked to the president, 


" In your lordship and your noble and right 
reverend supporters, the earl of Cork and the 
bishop of Bath and Wells, I behold the repre- 
sentatives of the highest ranks in the land, 
peers spiritual and temporal. I am told that 
there are present here members of parliament, 
clergy and gentry, and all grades have united 
and come forward as the poor man's friends 
and as officers of the society. It is a grateful 
sight. Thus also it is even with the economy 
of heaven ; since, concerning it, we hear of 
thrones and dominions, and principalities and 
powers ; for orderly government seems to be 
well pleasing to God ; and what other degrees 
may be required to constitute the harmony of 
the celestial hierarchy I know not, but — / shall 
soon be there, and then I shall know the whole /" 
And it was not long before he was let in to 
behold this mystery. 

The remainder of the week he spent in visiting 
and writing, and exhorting his son to diligence 
and prudence in his holy calling. To have the 
advice and admonition of a father so experi- 
enced was no small privilege ; and, doubtless, 
the exhortations he left with his son were duly 
appreciated, and have done much toward pro- 
moting his personal usefulness in the church of 
which he is a minister. 

On Sunday morning, about an hour before he 
went to the chapel, the servant announced that 
a man named Hartford was below, wishing to 
see Dr. Clarke. When the doctor came down 
the man was quite confounded, and exclaimed, 





" What, be this he ! the tidy little boy that fifty 
years agone myself and many other young ones 
went all about the country to see and hear, un- 
der whom I and several others were convinced 
of sin, and, by the grace of God, continue to 
this day!" "Yes," replied Dr. Clarke, "this 
is the form into which the labour, wear, and 
tear of fifty years have thrown that little boy." 
It appears that the visiter was one of the young 
persons present when Dr. Clarke preached at 
Road, when he first came to England. He 
asked Mr. Hartford how many of the " thirteen 
persons whom he admitted into society at that 
time were still alive." He answered, " Ten 
were dead long ago ; but himself, Lucas, and 
Miss Perkins, now Mrs. Whitaker, remained, 
and that the good work had gone on and in- 
creased from that day to this." 

In recording the circumstances of this inter- 
view Dr. Clarke adds the following remark : — 
" N. B. When I received my commission from 
God, these words were contained in it : I have 
ordained you that you should go and bring forth 
fruit, and that your fruit should remain" 

On the next day Dr. Clarke left Frome, and 
went to Weston super Mare, accompanied by his 
son and family, on a visit to Mrs. Brooke, the 
mother-in-law of Rev. J. B. B. Clarke. During 
this journey his spirits were good, and he ap- 
peared to suffer but little from the exercises 
of the sabbath. When he reached the place 
of his destination he was somewhat wearied. 
The kind attention of his friends and a little 



rest soon restored him. He did riot remain long 
in Weston, having engaged to preach at Bris- 
tol on the following Sunday. Accordingly on 
Thursday he bade his friends and children an 
affectionate farewell, and being accompanied 
by his son to the Bristol stage they parted, to 
meet no more on earth. 

After discharging his duty at Bristol, Dr. 
Clarke proceeded to Bath ; from which place 
lie went on home, and reached his residence on 
the twenty-fourth of August. For four months he 
had had incessant labour and travelling, or con- 
finement and suffering; and now his exhausted 
frame called for rest. As soon as he reached 
home he found a letter from Shetland, inform- 
ing him of a great calamity which had occur- 
red to the people and the church in those 

The letter stated that on the sixteenth of the 
month, the day being very fair, the fishermen 
were induced to go to the Haaf, or fishing station, 
which is far from the shore. About two o'clock 
on the following morning a tremendous gale 
came up, and drove some of the boats out to 
sea: some were taken up by a Vessel, and 
others were seen to perish. In these boats 
were nine of the class-leaders connected with 
the missionary station, as well as many private 
members. Some left large families that de- 
pended on their daily exertions to obtain them 
the necessaries of life ; and by this disaster, 
forty widows and nearly two hundred fatherless 
children were left in the society. Here was a 



new call upon Dr. Clarke's sympathy and 
efforts to relieve so much distress. 

About this period Dr. Clarke was reminded 
of the promise to write a memoir of his old 
friend, Rev. Thomas Roberts, in case he should 
be the survivor. The reason why he wished 
him to do so, as he told Mrs. Brackenbury, who 
applied to the doctor to fulfil his promise, was, 
" that Dr. Clarke had such generosity of heart, 
and honesty of nature, that he could fully con- 
fide himself to his hands." As Dr. Clarke had 
now returned home, and anticipated staying for 
some time, he made preparations to redeem the 

Shetland and Ireland still lay near his heart, 
and having mentioned the calamity which had 
befallen the former, in one of his letters, he 
says, — " What to do I know not, nor where to 
turn : I have known no calamity in Shetland 
equal to this. Ireland is bad enough ; but what 
is all their wretchedness, what is all their mi- 
sery, compared to the present state of Shet- 
land 1 * * But what can I do for Shetland ? 
Were it not so late in the year I would set off 
thither." Thus even to the latest days of his 
life these two great benevolent objects possess- 
ed the affections of his heart. 

It was remarked that at family worship he 
invariably prayed for each of his household, 
by name, that they might be preserved from the 
cholera, or prepared for sudden death. For 
the nation at large he prayed, " that it would 
please Almighty God to turn the hearts of the 



people unto himself, and cut short his judgment 
in mercy." On Saturday, August. 25th, after he 
had prayed with his family and arisen from his 
devotional posture, he remarked to Mrs. Clarke, 
" I think, my dear, it will not be my duty to 
kneel down much longer, as it is with pain and 
difficulty that I can rise up off my knees." 
Having promised to preach at Bayswater 
I the next day, sabbath, his friend, Mr. Hobbs, 
called for him, with his chaise. Before they 
started, he gave a servant a piece of silver, and 
said, " Take this to poor Mrs. Fox, with my 
love and blessing; perhaps it is the last I shall 
ever give her." This afflicted woman had been 
a subject of his charitable attention, and whether 
at home or abroad, he remembered to say or do 
something kind for her. When the servant re- 
turned from the cottage, where this aged woman 
was about to meet her end, he inquired " how 
she was, and if her soul was happy ?" and on 
being informed that she was " quite happy and 
resigned," he replied with strong emphasis, 
" Praise God." Shortly after he took his seat 
in the carriage, and left his own gate for ever. 

On the way to Bayswater he was quite cheer- 
ful, but when he arrived there he appeared 
wearied, and during the evening he was languid 
and silent ; and taking a little medicine he re- 
tired to his chamber quite early. During the 
night his indisposition increased, and he passed 
the hours very painfully. On Sunday morning 
he arose early, but this occasioned no surprise, 
as it was his usual custom. At six o'clock he 



sent for Mr. Hobbs, who obeyed the summons, 
and came to him with all speed. He found 
Dr. Clarke with his great coat on, his travelling 
bag in his hand, and his hat by him, as though 
he were about to take a journey. As soon as 
Mr. Hobbs entered, he exclaimed, " You 
must get me home directly, without a mira- 
cle I could not preach ; get me home,— I want 
to be home." Mr. Hobbs, seeing him look ex- 
ceedingly ill, replied, " Indeed, doctor, you are 
too ill to go home : you had better stay here ; 
at any rate, the gig is not fit for you ; I will go 
and inquire for a post chaise, if you are deter- 
mined to return to Eastcott." 

The sudden manner in which Mr. Hobbs had 
been called alarmed Mrs. Hobbs, who soon 
came down with her daughter and another 
lady, the servant having informed them of Dr. 
Clarke's indisposition. He had sunk into a 
chair, and as he was very cold they had a fire 
kindled, and while the ladies rubbed his fore- 
head and hands, Mr. Hobbs sent his servant to 
a neighbouring physician, and despatched mes- 
sengers to his sons, informing them of their 
father's illness. Mr. Charles Greenly, of Chat- 
ham, who was then on a professional visit to 
the cholera hospital at Bays water, was also 
called in. Not long after Mr. Theodoret Clarke 
arrived, and was soon followed by his brother 
John, accompanied by the doctor's nephew, 
Mr. Thrasycles Clarke, who had been a sur- 
geon in the royal navy and familiar with cholera 



The decision of these gentlemen was, that 
Dr. Clarke was labouring under an attack of 
J the cholera ; and it was found that he was un- 
j able to be conveyed upstairs. Mr. JHobbs re- 
marked to him, " My dear doctor, you must put 
your soul into the hands of your God, and trust 
in the merits of your Saviour." He replied 
' faintly, " I do, I do." 

All skill, experience, and attention were em- 
ployed to arrest his disease. In the mean time 
the chapel where he was expected to preach 
became crowded, and when Rev. Mr. Wormes- 
ley, after reading prayers, announced that Dr. 
Clarke was labouring under an attack of the 
cholera, the impression upon the congregation 
was great. A friend of the doctor's, who was 
present, hastened to the house of Mr. Hobbs, 
to ascertain if it were actually the case ; and 
found on his arrival, that in the confusion which 
the suddenness of his attack had caused they 
had neglected to send for Mrs. Clarke. He 
immediately drove to Haydon Hall, and return- 
ed with her to Bays water about four o'clock in 
the afternoon. When she entered the room he 
had but sufficient strength to extend his hand 
toward her. Soon after Mrs. Hook, his daugh- 
ter, arrived, and he opened his eyes feebly, 
and strove to grasp her hand. He had not 
spoken since morning but twice, when he ask- 
ed his son Theodoret, " Am I blue ?" and at 
noon, on seeing him move from his bed-side, 
he asked, with anxiety, " Are you going?" 
Dr. Philips, who had visited him in the 



morning, called again in the afternoon ; but Mr. 
Greenly and Mr. Thrasycles Clarke remained 
with him during the day. The intense interest 
which Mr. Hobbs ? family felt in the sufferer 
prompted them to do all that they could to re- 
lieve his pain. But all that they and his im- 
mediate relatives could do was not able to pre- 
vent the approach of that hour which God has 
made inevitable. 

From the first the doctor appeared to suffer 
but little pain : the sickness was not long, and 
the spasms passed off before noon. His strength 
seemed entirely gone, and he laboured under a 
difficulty of breathing, and this so increased in 
the night, and was so distressing, that it be- 
came necessary to remove Mrs. Clarke from 
the room. Shortly after eleven o'clock Mr. 
Hobbs came into the apartment where she was, 
and said, in great distress, " I am sure, Mrs. 
Clarke, the doctor is dying." She accompa- 
nied him immediately into the room where he 
lay, and looking at him, said, " Surely, Mr. 
Hobbs, you are mistaken ; Dr. Clarke breathes 
easier than he did just now." " Yes," exclaim- 
ed he, with deep emotion, " but shorter." The 
dying saint at this moment heaved a short 
sigh, and his spirit returned to God who gave 

Thus died Adam Clarke, a little before 
midnight, on Sunday, August the 26th, 1832, 
in the seventieth year of his age. 

Such a man was Adam Clarke. Born in 
obscurity and of humble origin, his name has 



gone to the ends of the earth. Trusting in the 

j sure guidance and safe protection of that Provi- 
dence which is ever watching over the chil- 
dren of God for good, confiding in the integrity 
of his principles and the purity of his motives, 

■ he urged his course forward, and the blessing 
of Heaven rested upon all that he did. Called 

j to serve God in the days of his early boyhood, he 
maintained a uniform character, preserved the 

j even tenor of his way, fought a good fight, and 
kept the faith to the end of a long and laborious 

As a Christian he was prudent, upright, just, 
strictly just. Judgment did he lay to the line of 
his actions, and righteousness to the plummet 

I of his thoughts and motives. Some instances 
of this severity of self-discipline have been 
introduced in this memoir. He knew of but 

j one object to be attained in this world, — an as- 
surance of his acceptance with God, and the 
promotion of his glory as far as his abilities 
could effect this glorious end. As a minister 
of Christ's calling and ordaining, he made all 
other plans, all other engagements, bend to the 
duties which the Christian ministry imposed 
upon him. These he regarded as absolutely 
binding, those he looked upon as proper so far 
as they tended to assist him in the discharge 
of duties which no circumstances could justify 
him in neglecting. In all the important under- 
takings of his life he measured not his abilities, 
nor the probabilities of success, with the end 
to be obtained ; but compared the accomplish- 



ment of all plans and schemes with the might 
of an omnipotent God. The result was, that 
success attended his efforts. 

His natural talents were not splendid, but 
their exercise always terminated in something 
practically useful. He had to contend with 
difficulties, and his plan was to remove obsta- 
cles, not to leap over them. The assistance 
he received in the commencement of his career 
was extremely limited, but he slowly and care- 
fully gathered about him the materials with 
which he erected the firm fabric of his charac- 
ter, and the durable superstructure of his fame. 
He always untangled the Gordian knot, never 
cut it : — he knew no royal road to knowledge ; 
he disdained not the humble and beaten track 
of patient investigation and untiring research. 
If his fame lacks the glare of the brilliant me- 
teor, it possesses the calm, steadily increasing 
light of the rising star : — and it will be forgot- 
ten only when the stars of the firmament shall 
cease to shine. 

He shunned no difficulties, however formida- 
ble, when he was convinced that his talents 
could be exercised in any useful manner ; and 
the greatness of some of his undertakings raa- 
nifested the comprehensive views of his mind. 
Through all his life he meekly followed the 
leadings of Providence ; in no case did he at- 
tempt to drive it. Although the praise of men 
was not the principle which stimulated his 
powers, yet he never refused to accept those 
honours which the learned world were pleased 


to bestow upon him, as the reward of real merit 
and successful application to literature. 

The actions of his life were prompted by 
that glorious principle which contains the con- 
centrated essence of the law, and the pure 
and undeflled spirit of the gospel, — Love to 
God and love to man. The fire of love 
burned upon the altar of his heart, and was 
diffused through all the actions of his life. 
Christianity made him a man and a gentle- 
i man : it supported him in his arduous under- 
takings, pointed to nobler attainments, and 
sustained while it directed his operations. His 
life was a strict observance of the law, and a 
living commentary on the gospel. His name 
is linked with his country's history, and his 
praise is in all the churches. The birth of 
Adam Clarke was a blessing to the world, and 
at his death his brethren said one to the other, 
" Know ye not that there is a prince and a 
great man fallen this day in Israel ?" 


H...I13 82 ^ 

-van/ J 


Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process. 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 

^ Treatment Date: May 2006 

* • # i • <y ( PreservationTechnologies 


1 1 1 Thomson Park Drive 
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